The Texas Longhorns experienced a rarity in Big 12 basketball these days — a blowout — as the Longhorns easily beat the TCU Horned Frogs, 73-50, on Tuesday night in Fort Worth.
The Longhorns (15-5 5-3 in Big 12) were facing a Horned Frogs (13-4, 3-3) team that was coming off beating No. 23 Iowa State on the road on Saturday. Texas, meanwhile, needed everything to beat Oklahoma State, 56-51.
On Tuesday, Texas looked like a finely tuned machine and TCU looked like it hadn’t played in a week. It ended up being Texas’ biggest win at Schollmaier Arena.
The Longhorns took care of things in the first half. An 11-0 run keyed by Timmy Allen helped Texas build an early 21-10 lead and end the first half up 43-23. With the game tied at 10-10, Allen hit four free throws and a layup to push the Longhorns ahead by six points. After that, Andrew Jones drained a 3-pointer and Tre Mitchell made a layup to give Texas an 11-point lead with 10:16 left in the first half.
Texas never looked back. The Longhorns maintained that lead while TCU had a startling scoring drought. At one point, TCU went more than five minutes without a point in the first half and more than eight minutes without a field goal. TCU’s Emanuel Miller ended that field-goal drought with a layup in the last 40 seconds, but Texas answered right before the buzzer to take a 20-point lead.
Texas had as much as a 24-point lead in the second half, as they remained aggressive on the offensive end and maintained a 41-31 rebounding edge on TCU.
The closest TCU could get in the second half was 15 points, which came on a Mike Miles 3-pointer with five minutes left. But, thanks to a first half in which the Horned Frogs shot 30 percent from the floor, failed to make a single 3-pointer and went 7-of-14 from the free-throw line, they just couldn’t dig out.
Miles led the Horned Frogs with 14 points, while Miller had 13 points.
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Thanks to the lead, Beard was able to spread out playing time. Allen had 16 points and eight rebounds. Andrew Jones made three 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. Courtney Ramey added 14 points, but he missed a good portion of the second half due to foul trouble. Christian Bishop had a team-high nine rebounds and Mitchell had a team-high five assists.
Texas learned on Tuesday that two of its prized Class of 2022 signees, Arterio Morris and Dillon Mitchell, were named McDonald’s All-Americans.
Texas just dropped from the AP Top 25 for the first time this season, and TCU represented its last game against an unranked team for nearly three weeks. In the Big 12, eight of the teams are in the most recent ESPN Bracketology. Plus, the Big 12’s nine NCAA Tournament-eligible teams lead the nation in remaining strength of schedule, per ESPN.
The Longhorns start with Saturday’s Big 12-SEC Challenge showdown with No. 18 Tennessee at 7 p.m. That game marks the return of former Texas coach Rick Barnes, who now leads the program at Tennessee. This will be Barnes’ first game at the Erwin Center since he and Texas parted ways.
From there, Texas travels to No. 13 Texas Tech on Feb. 1, which will be Beard’s first meeting with the Red Raiders since he left for the Texas job. After that, the Longhorns host No. 23 Iowa State on Feb. 5, No. 5 Kansas on Feb. 7 and then travels to No. 4 Baylor on Feb. 12.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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