Heading into Saturday's matchup with the No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders, the No. 14 Texas Longhorns men's basketball team had dropped five of their previous nine games, including a mid-January home matchup against that same Texas Tech team.
That trend continued on Saturday afternoon when the Longhorns fell 68-59 to the Red Raiders at United Supermarkets arena, dropping Texas to 14-7 on the season, and 8-6 in Big 12 play.
“I thought Tech played with really good edge today,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “They played like a team that truly had to give to desperation and I think this time of year, that’s a huge, huge advantage, especially when you go on the road you have to match that, you have to exceed that if you want to win.”
The Red Raiders, who overcame an early momentum shift from the Longhorns, took control of the game in the final two minutes of the second half on a pair of Marcus Santos-Silva free throws and never looked back, outscoring the Longhorns 40-31 for the remainder of the game.
For the game, Texas Tech was able to hit 44-percent from the floor and just under 31-percent from three, while out-rebounding the Longhorns 37-31.
The Longhorns, on the other hand, simply could not find their shooting, hitting 34.7-percent from the field and just 29-percent from beyond the arc.
“I thought the whole game we were forcing some shots before we needed to,” Smart said. “We were not in the flow that we needed to be in to continue moving the ball and it obviously caught up with us in the second half with the way we shot the ball — need to be much much better on offense.”
Jericho Sims led the way for Texas, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds, while Matt Coleman added 10 points and six assists from the point guard spot, and Kai Jones scored nine points to go along with six rebounds off of the bench.
Guards Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones, who typically lead the way for the Longhorns in the scoring department, combined for just 14 points on 3-of-18 shooting for the afternoon.
The Longhorns will look to get back on track this week, as they make up their remaining postponed conference games, beginning with a matchup with the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames on Tuesday.
“I thought we had such good poise the other night against Kansas — and the comeback was good, the guys really battled and fought him to come back — but for parts of the game today, we kind of got out of sorts on the stuff that we needed to do,” Smart said. “So, that’s something that we need to coach and our guys need to understand it’s who we have to be if we want to win.”
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