Not Quite Sweet Enough

Fourteen seconds. Up two. Two timeouts to none. That was the situation that the Longhorns found themselves in against the Arizona Wildcats Sunday night, one that quickly turned to disaster.

Leading 69-67, Texas earned a stop, and the Longhorns inexplicably called timeout. That meant, rather than forcing Arizona to foul and shooting free throws. Texas had to throw the ball in under its own basket.

The ball never made it in. After what appeared to be four seconds by everyone's measure but referee Richard Cartmell, Cory Joseph turned and called timeout. But Cartmell, a Pac-10 referee, instead slapped the Longhorns with a five second violation, and the Wildcats were in business. Just seconds later, Wildcat star Derrick Williams made his second huge play in as many days, getting a drive to fall as Jordan Hamilton fouled him. Just like that, the Longhorns trailed 70-69 with 9.6 seconds remaining.

That wound up being the final score, as the final shot attempt by J'Covan Brown missed and the buzzer sounded before Gary Johnson could attempt his put-back.

Williams's late heroics took so much of the glow off an outstanding comeback effort led by Brown in the final minutes. The Longhorns (28-8) were behind as many as 13 points in the first half before Brown went to work, bringing Texas back with 21 second-half points.

The Longhorns trailed at the break 36-25, but the second half was a different story, as Brown barreled into the lane repeatedly, drawing fouls and hitting 13-of-13 free throws. When he wasn't fouled, he dropped in a variety of floaters over outstretched arms, including a jumper with more than a minute left that gave the Longhorns that 69-67 advantage that they were ill-fated to keep.

He finished with a game-high 23 in just 25 minutes.

Arizona (29-7) was paced by 17 points from Williams, the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Despite a rough outing from the field — he shot just 4-for-14 — and a worse-than-usual performance from the free-throw line, he made the plays that counted down the stretch. He had nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Equally as important was the 16-8 he received from Solomon Hill and the 16 points off the bench from Jordin Mayes. Mayes achieved his stellar performance by dropping in 4-of-4 three-pointers. Arizona's starters shot just 1-for-5 from beyond the arc, while the bench players hit 7-of-9.

Hamilton scored 18 for the Longhorns, but couldn't seem to find his touch down the stretch. Johnson had 14. The Longhorns received just three points and six rebounds from Tristan Thompson, who didn't ever seem comfortable in attempting to shake off repeated double-teams. He did have four blocks and finished the year as the Longhorns' second-best freshman shot-blocker, four swats behind Chris Mihm.

Arizona will move on to face Duke in the Sweet 16.

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