If one play can encapsulate an entire season, then Saturday afternoon’s final play may be the perfect example in what has been a woeful past three months for Texas.
Sophomore guard Kerwin Roach Jr. pushed the ball up the court with under 10 seconds remaining. Another heroic three-pointer would have given the Longhorns back-to-back escapes on last-second shots.
But only needing two points to tie Georgia at 59, Texas decided to try its chances inside. Roach flipped a pass to freshman forward Jarrett Allen in the lane. Allen turned and threw up a desperation jump hook as time expired.
In and out. Georgia 59, Texas 57.
“We had the ball in Jarrett’s hands and to have a shot like that, we’ll take that any day of the week,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “Our guys did a good job getting the ball to him. We just didn’t make it.”
Last week’s savior against Oklahoma, freshman guard Andrew Jones, turned in another solid performance with 16 points and eight assists, but he did have six of Texas’ 14 turnovers. Sophomore guard Eric Davis Jr. finished with 11 points, and Roach had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Allen, meanwhile, struggled for a second-straight game and was held to just four points. The Longhorns (8–13, 2–6 Big 12) are now 2–6 in games this season decided by three points or less.
Georgia led 8-7 before the Longhorns broke the game open with a 12-1 run to take the lead at 19-9 with 8:25 to play in the first half.
The Bulldogs were able to cut the deficit to 22-21 with 4:30 remaining. But Texas answered back and closed the half on a 10-2 run to head into the locker room with a 32-23 lead.
“I thought that Texas was obviously a team that was young and they are very, very talented,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “It just hasn’t clicked for them. So we felt that if we could just calm down in the second half and stay the course, that we could earn a victory.”
The patience paid off as junior forward Yante Maten and senior guard J.J. Frazier led the Bulldogs on a 15-4 run to open the first seven minutes of the second half, taking a 38-36 lead.
Georgia held its largest lead of the game at 51-44 with 6:09 to play, and it looked as if Texas just might let the game slip away.
Down 59-57 with under 30 seconds left, Texas trapped Frazier right next to the half court line. Frazier, who nearly committed a backcourt violation, gave Jones a shove with his arm and then called timeout. No foul was called, and Smart was furiously upset with the officials.
Frazier missed a jumper out of the timeout, but Georgia sophomore forward Derek Ogbeide collected the rebound and immediately laid the ball in with the shot clock expiring.
The officials, however, waved off the basket after replays showed Ogbeide did not get the shot off in time. It gave Texas one last possession, but to no avail.
The Longhorns resume Big 12 play on Wednesday night at home against Texas Tech. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. on ESPNU.