Frank Erwin Center

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

Senior guard Brooke McCarty walked off the court on Monday night to the sight of a standing ovation and with her head held high.

The scoreboard of No. 6 Texas’ game against No. 3 Baylor showed a 93-87 victory for the Bears. And although they’d missed out on their biggest win of the season, the Longhorns felt they’d left it all on the court at the Frank Erwin Center.

Texas entered the battle of the Big 12’s top two teams determined to avenge its 81-56 loss to the Bears on Jan. 25, fighting tooth and nail with Baylor to force an 11-11 tie with 6:13 left in the first quarter.

The Bears awoke from their slumber, launching a 9-2 run fueled by six Texas turnovers. McCarty had an answer, though, as the senior guard sank a pair of consecutive open threes to cut the Baylor lead to 23-19 at the break.

“I thought our turnovers in the first quarter set us back a little bit,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “I thought we were playing very well defensively, but we just got in too much of a hurry.”

Desperate to shake the stingy Longhorns, Baylor hit even harder in the second quarter. The Bears began to crash the glass, out-rebounding an undersized Texas squad, 17-7.

McCarty kept Texas above water once again, lighting up the Bears for six points as the Longhorns cut the lead to 39-35 with 50 seconds before halftime.

But Baylor ended the quarter with a pair of unanswered buckets to claim a 43-35 lead at the half.

“I can’t look away from the rebounding number,” Aston said. “It was very clearly the difference in the game, and there were critical moments where we couldn’t get a defensive rebound.”

The Longhorns finally landed some punches of their own in the third quarter as Joyner Holmes began to expose the Baylor frontcourt. The sophomore forward gave an edge to a Texas team that’d been struggling to keep pace all night, scoring four points and totaling five boards in the quarter.

Atkins brought the crowd to its feet with 5:33 left, finishing on a fastbreak layup to give Texas a 51-50 lead — its first since 7:10 remained in the first quarter.

The one-point advantage lasted just 15 seconds as Baylor senior guard Kristy Wallace sank a floater on the baseline, igniting a 14-5 Baylor run. The Bears created separation once again, entering the fourth quarter with a 68-59 lead.

The Bears went for the knockout punch in the final quarter as Baylor sophomore forward Lauren Cox sunk a right-handed hook shot, plus the foul, to give her team a 77-62 lead with 6:44 left in the game.

Despite the game seemingly being out of reach, Texas kept fighting. McCarty continued to let it fly, drilling four three-pointers and posting 16 points in the quarter.

A late Longhorn comeback fell just short as the Bears escaped Austin with a six-point win.

McCarty finished the night with a career-high 32 points on 7-of-9 shooting from deep. The strong performance was a welcomed sight for a player who has shot just 32.5 percent from 3-point range all season.

Holmes also continued to show progress in the starting slot, finishing just shy of a double-double performance with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Longhorns (22–5, 13–3 Big 12) hope to rebound from Monday’s loss as the Big 12 tournament, and a possible rematch against Baylor, looms in the distance.

“I think as a competitor you never want to lose,” McCarty said. “But at this point we can’t drown in our sorrows. We have to move on to the next game. We’ll see them again.”

Photo Credit: Jessica Joseph | Daily Texan Staff

Jatarie White went exploring.

The junior center typically roams the paint, scavenging inside for easy buckets no more than a step or two away from the rim. Texas Tech made them hard to come by early in No. 6 Texas’ 87-72 win over the Red Raiders on Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.

Sophomore forward Joyner Holmes started in place of senior forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau, who was out with a bruised left wrist. Holmes doesn’t have the same outside touch as her injured counterpart.

White tried to share the interior with Holmes. But after fighting through double teams on her first two makes, White knew she needed to venture into mid-range territory.

With 4:45 remaining in the first quarter, White received a bounce pass from senior guard Ariel Atkins just above the free throw line and rose for a jumper. The ball rolled around, hung on the front of the rim for an eternity, then fell in. She hit another jumper from the left elbow, going 4-for-4 in the first quarter and scoring eight of Texas’ first 10 points. 

“I’ve been getting in the gym a little bit more with Coach Tina (Thompson) and working on my shooting form,” White said. “Also, noticing Coach (Aston) telling us that they were kind of closing in on the paint, flashing into the high post is just where I wanted to find the open space.”

The Longhorns still struggled. Texas couldn’t find the usual cracks in the defense without Caron-Goudreau’s floor spacing. The Red Raiders ended the quarter leading 19-16.

Texas head coach Karen Aston shook things up in the second quarter. She started sophomore wing Jada Underwood at the power forward spot to open things up on offense. It worked — but at a cost.

On Texas’ first possession, senior guard Brooke McCarty drove inside for an and-one layup and made the ensuing free throw. Texas Tech responded on the other end with a layup of its own.

The Red Raiders pummeled the Longhorns in the post. Underwood and Atkins were too small to contain Texas Tech’s 6-foot-4-inch senior center, Jada Terry, or 6-foot-6-inch sophomore center Erin Degrate. Terry and Degrate finished the half combining for 18 points.

“It’s frustrating as a player not being able to — kind of just giving up easy one-foot points,” White said.

Aston turned to 6-foot-3-inch freshman forward Rellah Boothe to plug the hole on defense. She thrived. Boothe was enough of a perimeter threat on offense to keep her defender from sagging off, and she had the size to slow down Texas Tech’s bigs on defense.

Boothe entered the game with 6:24 remaining in the half and Texas clinging to a three-point lead. Four different players scored on an 8-2 Texas run, including Boothe. The freshman came out a few possessions later at the 2:17 mark with the Longhorns leading 41-34. 

“Rellah played some valuable minutes,” Aston said. “When you have a night like tonight where people aren’t clicking as well as they typically do or you need to rest some players sometimes, things like that, that’s what a bench is about. I was very pleased.”

Texas went to a 2-3 zone defense in the second half, fortifying the paint and forcing more turnovers that led to transition baskets. McCarty pilfered the ball on back-to-back plays and racked up six points to cap off a 10-0 run by the Longhorns late in the third quarter. The Red Raiders trailed by double-digits the remainder of the game.

White finished with 11 points and one rebound. McCarty tallied 13 points, one rebound and one assist.

The Longhorns (21–4, 12–2 Big 12) will hit the road to take on No. 21 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday. Though Texas won its previous matchup with Oklahoma State at home by five points, White said the team can’t afford to lose its focus.

“I try not to think about the last game,” White said. “I try to think about what that team does and where they’re successful … Kind of knowing what they do already and not really focusing on how many points they score.”

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

With eight seconds left on the clock in double overtime and a one-point deficit for Texas, junior guard Kerwin Roach II drove right and threw up a long runner in a desperate, final look.

But like so many of Texas’ shots on Monday evening, the floater fell short and Baylor grabbed the rebound.

Baylor 74, Texas 73.

It was a pivotal loss for a sliding Texas team that dampened any hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. After posting an impressive 11–2 home record through its first 13 games, Texas has now dropped back-to-back games at the Frank Erwin Center for the first time this season.

“They are really upset,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “And some of these guys are really angry, because some of those guys put their egos aside and came together in terms of attacking and battling. But obviously we came up one stop short.”

Texas missed 11 of its first 12 shots as Baylor took an early 13-6 lead.

The Longhorns rank at the bottom of the Big 12 in 3-point shooting, a fact that Baylor took full advantage of in the opening half. Even with freshman guard Jase Febres — the team’s top marksman from three — back in the starting lineup, Texas shot a miserable 2-of-11 in the first half from deep.

The Longhorns converted on just one field goal at the midway point of the half. And even then, the points came on contested mid-range jumpers. The offense was flat.

With under 10 minutes to play in the first half, Baylor scored on an easy layup off an inbound pass, forcing Texas head coach Shaka Smart to burn a timeout. That break proved to be the turning point of the opening period.

“Particularly in the first half, they didn’t let (poor shooting) get them down,” Smart said. “We had some good looks we didn’t make. We got the ball inside pretty well a few times where we didn’t put it away. That happened a couple times.”

Out of the timeout a three by junior guard Eric Davis Jr. gave Texas a badly needed spark. Roach got a dunk off a steal, then freshman forward Mo Bamba brought the crowd to its feet with a thunderous dunk off the lob from the junior guard to cut the lead to one.

Moments later, the same duo connected on an identical, yet even more spectacular, alley-oop, and Texas took its first lead since the opening seconds.

The two teams traded baskets and entered halftime separated by a single possession, with the Bears clinging to a two-point advantage.

The Longhorns missed four uncontested shots from behind the arc to open the second half, including an airball from Davis as Baylor jumped out to an early five-point lead.

But it was Bamba who set the tone again for Texas. A huge rejection on Baylor forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. led to a layup on the other end for Bamba — Texas’ first points of the second half after nearly five minutes.

Baylor maintained a two-possession advantage until the 11-minute mark. Whether it was mismatches or a lack of effort from Texas, the Bears had little trouble abusing the Longhorns on both ends of the court. Texas looked deflated as Baylor pressed the attack, pulling ahead by eight with four minutes to play.

But the Texas players kept grinding. On the heels of a technical foul by Baylor, a late three from freshman guard Matt Coleman and a scoop layup under the rim brought the Longhorns within one with 30 seconds left in regulation. Moments later, Coleman went to the line, calmly hitting two free throws to tie the game for the Longhorns at 56.

Baylor missed a final look from deep as the two teams headed into overtime. Neither squad was able to command an advantage in the ensuing five minutes. After a pair of free throws from Roach tied the game at 64, the two teams headed into a second overtime period.

Again both teams failed to create any meaningful separation.

Texas and Baylor traded layups on both ends as time ran down. With under 15 seconds to play, Baylor took a one-point lead on a dunk inside.

“I knew that Mo was going to block the shot, and I was just hoping for a good miss,” Lual-Acuil Jr. said. “And thankfully I went up and I got it.”

The late runner by Roach proved just off the mark, and Texas (15–11, 5–8 Big 12) saw its postseason hopes suffer a massive blow in disappointing fashion.

“Slow starts make it tough,” Smart said. “That being said, our guys battled and forced overtime, forced double overtime. But even as we took the lead, they weren’t able to stop them.”

Photo Credit: Juan Figueroa | Daily Texan Staff

Kansas State played two steps ahead on Saturday night, and it didn’t matter.

The No. 6 Longhorns won on the Wildcats’ terms at the Frank Erwin Center, besting a Kansas State team that seemed to make all the necessary adjustments.

Texas 76; Kansas State 54.

The first adjustment came two minutes into the game when junior forward Jatarie White put the Wildcats on notice by scoring the opening four Texas points and snagging two offensive rebounds.

Kansas State head coach Jeff Mittie countered, quickly subbing senior forward Kaylee Page out for 6-foot-4-inch freshman center Mary Lakes. The increase in size proved effective as White went silent for the remainder of the quarter, failing to score another point.

The second adjustment came after the Longhorns (20–4, 11–2 Big 12) implemented a full-court press midway through the first — the same press that forced Kansas State into 19 turnovers when the two teams previously faced off on Jan. 7.

This time, the Wildcats kept their cool, repeatedly breaking the press and extending their range for a banquet of open threes. Kansas State made the Longhorns pay, shooting 3-of-4 from deep as Texas ended the first quarter with a hard-earned 23-21 lead.

“We got a little undisciplined,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “We fouled and didn’t always get back in transition, so I thought that allowed (Kansas State) to make a lot of plays.”

The Wildcats intensified the pressure in the second quarter, this time focusing on Texas’ attack in the paint. Kansas State forced the Longhorns to change their bruising style of play, using a 2-3 zone that dared them to shoot from deep instead.

The Longhorns failed to take advantage, shooting an abysmal 1-of-5 from long range as they clung to a 27-25 lead with 7:17 left before halftime.

With Texas’ starting lineup struggling to generate offense, Aston made an adjustment of her own, calling sophomore guard Alecia Sutton off the bench for a spark.

The move paid off as the St. Louis native scored four points, including a buzzer-beating 2-point pull-up before the half that capped off a 12-5 Longhorn run and gave Texas a 39-30 lead.

“I just felt like it brought the energy up after I made that shot,” Sutton said. “We were kind of dead in the first half, so I just wanted to give some energy to the team.”

With the game still up for grabs, Texas found its saving grace in senior Brooke McCarty. The shifty 5-foot-4-inch guard, who’d been contained to just four points in the first half, finally broke free in the third quarter.

McCarty exposed the Wildcats’ defense, igniting a personal 10-0 run as the Longhorns blew open a 60-41 lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter. For the first time all night, Kansas State didn’t have an answer.

Texas rallied around its senior leader as the Longhorns entered the final quarter of play with an imposing 66-44 lead.

“I just fed off my teammates,” McCarty said. “I tried to get them the ball, but when I was open they got me the ball and I just took advantage of what the defense gave me.”

The fourth quarter was merely a formality as Texas put the finishing touches on a 22-point win. McCarty finished the night with a team-high 17 points.

Sophomore forward Joyner Holmes also excelled, after senior forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau was sidelined by a left wrist injury in the second quarter. Holmes scored 11 points and added seven rebounds. The Cedar Hill native could see more minutes in the future, should Caron-Goudreau miss some time with the injury.

“I think I can contribute in whatever way my team needs,” Holmes said. “It’ll be tough, but I think I can fill her role as best as I can.”

The victory marked Texas’ fifth-straight season with at least 20 wins. The Longhorns have little time for celebration, though, as they now shift their focus to a home game against Texas Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Texas suffered a heartbreaker at the Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday night as Kansas State invaded Austin and escaped with a 67-64 victory. Here are four takeaways from the Longhorns’ rare Big 12 home loss, which dropped the team to 5–6 in the conference:

Longhorns miss last-second shot for tie

With 15 seconds to go, Kansas State point guard Barry Brown’s first free throw on a one-and-one clanked out of the rim, and the Longhorns didn’t take advantage. Freshman point guard Matt Coleman drove to the right baseline, created breathing room and threw a lob to freshman forward Mo Bamba. The Wildcats interrupted the pass and corralled the ball.

Kansas State immediately drew a foul, and Wildcats junior forward Dean Wade hit the first of two free throws. Texas earned an opportunity for a tying three-point buzzer beater with two seconds on the clock after Wade missed the second, but junior guard Kerwin Roach II’s desperation heave couldn’t reach the rim.

Texas dropped its first home game since late December.

Bamba shows off versatility, mobility

As a 6-foot-11 center gifted with a jaw-dropping wingspan, Mo Bamba can easily stand on the low block on both sides of the ball. But rather than just shooting point-blank field goals and clogging the paint defensively, Bamba made his presence felt all around the hardwood on Wednesday night.

He was active in running the floor, contesting shots in transition defense and setting screens in a mobile offense. The freshman was a scoring machine in the first half against the Wildcats, contributing 15 of Texas’ 34 points. He sunk 54.5 percent of his shots, scoring from an array of areas — the paint, midrange and beyond the arc.

Bamba’s development has augmented greatly since the season opener against Northwestern State, as he prepares for the likely transition to the NBA in just a few months.

Kansas State’s Dean Wade plays like D-Wade

The Wildcats’ leading scorer had no problem finding the bottom of the net in Austin. Dean Wade brought the heat for a team-high 16 points in the win, proving lethal from mid-range and drawing obvious comparisons to similarly named NBA star Dwyane Wade.

Dean’s offensive prowess helped the Wildcats climb out of an early seven-point deficit, and he ended up sinking a crucial free throw with 3.2 seconds left to lift Kansas State to a win. On the defensive end, he was responsible for putting the clamps on Texas’ leading scorer. Longhorns junior forward Dylan Osetkowski did not score in the first half, and he finished with just eight points.

Texas struggles to replicate Saturday’s upset win

During Saturday’s home upset over then-No. 12 Oklahoma, Texas overcame a 10-point second-half deficit. The Longhorns played with energy and intensity and managed to play at a high level during big moments late in the game.

In an emptier Erwin Center on Wednesday night, the Longhorns seemed to do the opposite down the stretch. Kansas State trailed by as many as seven points in the game, and Texas’ defense had no answer for the Wildcats’ offense once the second half began.

Offensively, Bamba didn’t score in the second half until just 1:38 remained. Texas as a whole shot an inefficient 41.4 percent compared to Kansas State’s 53.7 percent.

Kansas State — a fringe NCAA Tournament team coming off a 38-point road loss — snapped the Longhorns’ five-game home winning streak, which included three AP top-16 wins.

Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Freshman guard Matt Coleman turned the corner near the baseline with his eyes on the rim.

With Texas trailing by two, the Longhorn point guard had an opportunity to tie or win the game against Kansas State on Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center in the final seconds. Coleman saw an opening and lobbed it up to freshman forward Mo Bamba, but the pass proved off the mark. The Wildcats collected the steal as Texas fell, 67-64, in another tight Big 12 game.

“It felt like our spirit wasn’t there all the way,” Coleman said. “We didn’t have enough energy going into the game. That just comes from within. They wanted it more than us.”

The matchup featured two teams trending in opposite directions. Texas (15–9, 5–6 Big 12) sat as close as it has been since 2016 to a top 25 ranking after Saturday’s home upset win over No. 12 Oklahoma. Kansas State, meanwhile, entered on a two-game skid, including a 38-point blowout at the hands of West Virginia.

The game saw another stellar performance from Bamba. The forward scored a game-high 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds in the loss.

“It hurts to lose at home,” Bamba said. “No game in this league is easy, but home games are supposed to be the ones you can lead in spirit compared to who you are going up against. When you drop one at home it hurts a little bit. But we gotta reset for TCU.”

Texas entered Wednesday knowing this was a game it couldn’t afford to lose. In a conference ripe with ranked opponents, a home matchup with a middle-of-the-pack program is a must-win situation for any team eyeing a NCAA Tournament bid.

The Longhorns looked to create separation in the opening minutes. Texas rattled off seven unanswered points to take control early, 14-7.

Texas never pulled ahead by more than seven before Kansas State began its rally.

The Wildcats closed the gap with the help of eight early turnovers from Texas. The Longhorns coughed up the ball on a series of unforced errors which led to 11 quick points at the other end.

Bamba provided a highlight block and staredown to cut into the lead, but the late surge from Kansas State couldn’t be slowed, and the two teams entered the break tied at 34. Texas head coach Shaka Smart was visibly upset and could be seen exchanging words with his starters on the final possession of the half.

“Disappointing to say the least,” Smart said. “It wasn’t like we didn’t practice well or the guys didn’t give effort. But you can kind of see on our faces tonight, we didn’t have the same collective spirit or will to come together and be about one thing.”

Texas came out sluggish in the second half. A quick four unanswered from the Wildcats had Texas playing catch up through the first five minutes.

The Longhorns reclaimed the lead with 14 minutes to play on a long three from junior guard Kerwin Roach II. After leading the charge for the Longhorns in the first half, Bamba was held scoreless through much of the second. In his absence, junior forward Dylan Osetkowski came alive, scoring eight points in the second half to keep the score close down the stretch.

With just under three minutes to play, the lead was a single possession for Kansas State. With one final, furious rally, junior guard Eric Davis Jr. buried a triple, but Coleman committed a crucial foul on the other end. The error gave the Wildcats the ball with 18 seconds left and no shot clock, forcing Texas to start intentional fouling.

Coleman missed his final shot, and Texas fell below .500 in conference play with a tough road rematch against TCU just three days away.

“Well I think one of the things that really good teams do, and winning teams do, is they have a good result and they say we want more,” Smart said. “That was something I really wanted to put front and center in front of these guys coming off of Saturday. But at the end of the day we didn’t display that tonight.”

Photo Credit: Nate Davis | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorn faithful had been lively since the early morning. They arrived in droves with creative signs, uproarious chants and unwavering support for Texas before its sellout matchup with No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday evening.

ESPN’s College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Jay Williams, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas broadcasted their show live from the Frank Erwin Center in the morning, hours prior to Texas’ highly anticipated matchup with Trae Young and the Sooners.

“I’m with three smart alecks up there,” Williams said. “Jay Bilas always comes back with zingers, and Rece is the guy that sets you up for failure sometimes if you don’t pay attention to how he sets you up. That’s what happens when you’re part of a team. Guys play practical jokes. We’re around each other 24/7, so it’s great.”

College GameDay made its third visit to Austin. Texas won each of the previous two games. On Saturday evening, Texas did it again. This time, the Longhorns erased a 10-point second-half deficit to upset the Sooners, 79-74, behind a game-high 22 points from freshman guard Matt Coleman.

After settling into town, Greenberg and Davis were excited to eat Austin barbecue, Bilas looked forward to the local tacos but the entire crew wondered what the atmosphere would look like come Saturday morning.

“It’s one of the great cities of any of the college campuses that we go to,” Davis said. “Everybody here is always really hospitable to us. It’s going to create a great environment for both the show and the game.”

Davis and the GameDay crew challenged Texas fans to wake up early and pack the Erwin Center for the televised broadcast after they struggled to generate a massive audience during ESPN’s last visit in 2009. The turnout on Saturday morning exceeded expectations, as hundreds of students formed lines outside the entrances hours before the show commenced.

“It doesn’t matter to us how many people come,” Bilas said. “We love to have more rather than less. But for us, it’s more of the game and covering the game. We do the show for people at home, but there’s always a flavor of where we are.”

One major reason ESPN headed to Austin was to discuss the marquee matchup between two of the nation’s top freshmen. Texas center Mo Bamba and Oklahoma point guard Trae Young would share an arena for the first of two times during the 2017–18 season.

“(I want to see) if Trae can score 40,” Davis said. “He’s must-see TV. And I want to see if any shot in the paint off the hand of an Oklahoma player makes it to the basket without being swatted away by Mo Bamba.”

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte was present, along with defensive end Charles Omenihu, and the two dispensed donuts and coffee to attendees. Students also received free “Boom AJ1” T-shirts, similar to Texas’ warm-up apparel in support of sophomore guard Andrew Jones as he continues his fight with leukemia.

At the conclusion of the broadcast, Jay Williams ripped off his suit to reveal a Jones jersey underneath. Williams rallied the crowd with an “An-DREW, An-DREW” chant. Earlier in the show, a Tom Rinaldi feature on Jones’ diagnosis and illness was displayed on the video board. The tear-jerking segment included emotional interviews from Texas head coach Shaka Smart and several of Jones’ close teammates.

“I’m wearing a burnt orange tie in honor of Andrew Jones,” Greenberg said. “It’s amazing how this team has been able to stay together without one of their own. I did the Texas-Alabama game in Birmingham when Andrew was out. He sat with me for two days in practice, and I was blown away by him as a human being.”

Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

ESPN’s College GameDay paid a visit, the Frank Erwin Center was sold out and the energy from the fans skyrocketed to a season-high during the Texas-Oklahoma game on Saturday evening. Why?

The Longhorns’ Mo Bamba and the Sooners’ Trae Young were in the building.

One is seven feet tall, the other stands at just 6-foot-2-inches. One excels in rejecting opponents’ shots and grabbing rebounds, while the other has made a name for himself with his uncanny passing ability and the ability to drain shots consistently from Stephen Curry range. But they share one key commonality: The two freshmen rank among the top players in the nation, destined to be selected in the forefront of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Bamba’s team won Saturday’s showdown, defeating Oklahoma, 79-74. Here’s how the two future NBA lottery picks performed individually:

Trae Young, Oklahoma

Young contributed to a plethora of the game’s early points for the Sooners. The freshman point guard recorded an assist in transition as the Sooners etched their name into the scoreboard first. Then, Young stunned the crowd by hitting an off-balance three on Oklahoma’s ensuing basket.

Young wasn’t money from long range on the night, shooting just 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. He accumulated only five first-half points and struggled with his jumper. But what makes a player like Young special is his ability to attack in other ways. His passing was stunning, and he was able to throw darts behind defenders’ backs and attack Texas’ defense with no-look assists in transition. The nation’s leader in assists dropped nine dimes in the first half and finished the evening with 14.

"I just try to find different ways to affect the game,” Young said. “My shot wasn't falling early, so I was trying to get everyone involved.”

The point guard matched his first-half points total less than two minutes into the second half. Young penetrated the lane numerous times, but his tendency to shoot in these situations increased in the game’s final 20 minutes. Young’s floaters were the primary source of his 19 points, but Texas’ Kerwin Roach II and Matt Coleman managed to limit him well below his season average of 30.3.

“One thing that he’s really improved on is his passing ability,” Bamba said of Young. “We did our job making it as tough as possible on him, and we came out victorious.”

Mo Bamba, Texas

Bamba collected most of his baskets in the win from point-blank range. He used his 7-foot-9-inches wingspan and capitalized on being the tallest player on the floor. The center from New York hauled in 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds over a mismatched Sooners team.

Bamba is one game removed from setting the single-season record for blocks at Texas, but the freshman tallied zero in the first half. An astounding 34 of Oklahoma’s 40 first-half points were pitched in from the paint. The Sooners often relied on speed and quick ball movement to defeat Bamba’s length and shot-altering ability — and it worked.

But Bamba adjusted and was a force to be reckoned with during the latter sequences of the game.

“Mo didn’t have his best offensive night, but he didn’t cave,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “He was a presence on the defensive end, and he did a very nice job in all the blitzes on pick-and-roll.”

Bamba’s first block nearly blew the roof off of the Erwin Center. It occurred right after the Longhorns surged from a 10-point deficit to tie the game at 52 apiece early in the second half. He then hauled in a key offensive board to retain possession while Texas was up two with two minutes left. But with 33 seconds left and a six-point advantage, Bamba perfected the highlight of the night.

The big man sealed the envelope on the game by catching an alley-oop from junior guard Eric Davis Jr. and finishing with an emphatic reverse jam. It brought the crowd of 15,533 to its feet and injected an unheard-of amount of energy into the Texas faithful.

“It was surreal,” Bamba said. “Eric told me before the game he was going to throw a lob. I looked at him, I read him, he didn’t want to throw it but he was like, ‘dang, I promised him,’ so he threw it. It was a little short, so I improvised.”

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Freshman guard Matt Coleman stood near half court and raised his arms to the sold-out crowd. The Frank Erwin Center, as electric as it has been all season, erupted in response.

The display came on the heels of a furious Texas rally as the Longhorns erased a 10-point second-half deficit to upset No. 12 Oklahoma, 79-74, in the Red River Showdown on Saturday evening.

The Longhorns (15–8, 5–5 Big 12) trailed for all but seven minutes of the game before a late run earned them the victory. Coleman finished with a game-high 22 points, including a number of huge shots down the stretch to lead Texas to its third Big 12 home upset over a ranked opponent this season.

“The crowd tonight was phenomenal,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “They really gave us a lift, because our guys didn’t have great energy early on. There was a level of fatigue that our guys felt from a long week. But I’m proud that they found enough to be within striking distance for the whole game and to make that big run at the end and come back and win.”

Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young was the focal point for the Longhorns on defense — and for the home crowd. The Frank Erwin Center erupted with boos as his name was called in the starting lineup, and the jeers lasted all night.

On the first possession for the Sooners, Young caught the ball in the corner and faced up. His hesitation move was quickly cut off on the baseline, and the arena went wild as he was forced to pass the ball back to the top.

But early on Young never so much as glanced at the sea of burnt orange and white.

Young sank a deep three early before getting into the lane for a high floater over freshman forward Mo Bamba. Moments later Young found an open shooter in the corner, and then a man under the basket in transition. The guard collected six assists in the opening 10 minutes as Oklahoma jumped out to a 24-17 lead.

On the other end Bamba struggled to find his shot. The forward coughed up an easy turnover on a move to the rim before getting stripped in the lane on the ensuing possession.

Bamba’s hesitance on both ends turned into easy Oklahoma baskets as the Sooners torched Texas in the paint in the first half.

The Longhorns’ biggest advantage suddenly became a glaring weakness as the team found itself unable to get a stop in the lane. Thirty-four of the Sooners’ first 40 points came under the rim as they pulled ahead on what seemed like an endless array of dunks and layups. Oklahoma entered the break ahead 40-35.

“Early in the game we were a step slow,” Smart said. “They were getting wherever they wanted. Trae Young had guys on ice skates. And they were getting into the paint for drop-offs and lob dunks. So it was about picking up our defensive energy.”

The second half saw Texas bring a renewed emphasis on offense.

The Longhorns began with a multi-action set that ended in a Bamba hook shot. The next time down the floor, the team ran a similar series of screens and cuts which led to an open jumper by freshman guard Jase Febres to cut the lead to three.

But Young came out firing. After the nation’s leading scorer dished out nine assists in the first half, the guard scored a quick five points before finding a man under the basket for another uncontested dunk.

The Sooners made it a double-digit lead with 16 minutes to play, and Smart was forced to take a timeout. The momentum had shifted firmly in the favor of Oklahoma as the sound of the arena fell to an uneasy murmur.

“We were down 10, and I felt like our spirit wasn’t great at that moment,” Coleman said. “We just needed something — a stop, a block, a steal, a dunk — something to get us over that hump. And we found something and ran with it.”

But as fast as the lead came, it went. A second-half rally, fueled by the roaring crowd, saw junior guard Kerwin Roach II answer with a three and Bamba hit a pair at the line to cut the lead to four.

Texas immediately switched to full-court pressure and forced a turnover, leading to more Roach free throws.

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski tied the game at 66 with just over five minutes left in the game, before Coleman gave the Longhorns their first lead of the second half — a lead they would not relinquish.

The Sooners went ice-cold down the stretch with under two minutes to play as Texas extended the lead to four. Bamba iced the game on a reverse alley-oop, and Texas escaped with the upset.

“We just have each other’s backs, and it's working,” Roach said. “And that’s what separates us from any other team. We really do genuinely care for each other, and we just went out there and displayed it with our defense.”

Photo Credit: Katie Bauer | Daily Texan Staff

No. 8 Texas has lost to four different teams this season, but TCU was different.

When TCU sophomore guard Kianna Ray hit a pair of free throws to take a 79-77 lead over the Longhorns on Jan. 10 in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs became the first non-ranked team of the year to beat Texas. The loss stung.

“You definitely feel a little more motivated,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said on Saturday. “We wanted to win today.”

Texas got its revenge on Saturday in a 92-65 win over No. 22 TCU at the Frank Erwin Center.

The Longhorns set the tone defensively from the opening possession.

TCU won the tip and gave junior center Jordan Moore control on the first shot of the game. Moore drove into the lane but was met by senior forward Audrey-Ann Caron Goudreau. Moore raised her arms for a layup. Caron-Goudreau did the same to stop it and knocked the ball away.

Junior guard Lashann Higgs missed a jumpshot on the next play, and the Horned Frogs zoomed back down on offense. This time, TCU sophomore forward Adeola Akomolafe took her turn to drive inside. Caron-Goudreau swatted the ball again.

“She helps us a lot,” senior guard Ariel Atkins said. “I think she’s taken it personal that we haven’t particularly guarded posts well in the past. She’s been doing things in the game that haven’t been showing up on the stat sheet … It’s just a credit to her and her attention to detail.”

The Horned Frogs struggled to score for the rest of the first quarter. A pair of free throws from freshman guard Lauren Heard and a layup from junior guard Dakota Vann were the only shots that fell in.

Texas went into the second quarter with a 27-4 lead. TCU had more turnovers — seven — than it did points.

The defensive prowess wasn’t sustainable, even as the Longhorns began utilizing a full-court press. The Horned Frogs scored 20 points in the second quarter, but by then the game had already been decided.

Atkins and fellow senior guard Brooke McCarty led the team with 16 points each. The duo had an answer for every puzzling defender TCU threw their way.

“I had a talk with Coach this week and my teammates this week and it’s just — I’m thinking too much,” McCarty said. “(Today) I think I just fed off of my teammates and just kind of let everything go out the window.”

Caron-Goudreau finished with seven points, four rebounds and a career-high six blocks. The victory proved to the team how dominant Texas can be.

“I thought our team was pretty special today,” Aston said. “Lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, shared the ball and really seemed somewhat connected. I could nitpick on a few things, but I did think that, for the most part, it was a pretty complete performance for our team.”

The Longhorns will travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, on Monday to take on the Mountaineers. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.