It was an improvement over Monday night's loss, but ultimately, the Longhorns suffered the same result in a back-and-forth 59-53 loss to USC at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.
"I thought there were some much, much better things," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "At least we competed. Came out and I thought played with more passion. Tried to execute better. We had some opportunities. I thought where we really could have gotten control of the game, we didn't finish it on the defensive end."
The game saw 12 ties and nine lead changes, and neither team led by more than three points in the second half. Texas actually led by two points at 47-45 with 1:36 remaining in regulation when Julien Lewis hit a jumper. And the Longhorns grabbed the ball when Sheldon McClellan rebounded a missed jumper from J.T. Terrell.
Texas went into a stall game, holding the ball until Javan Felix tried to knife in and hit a jumper with 31 seconds left. But DeWayne Dedmon blocked the attempt and grabbed the ball. And USC, which scored nine of its 21 second-half points on the fast break, broke out with no Longhorns getting back on defense. Dedmon threw the ball ahead for a Terrell dunk and a tie game with 26 seconds left. Texas's final second-half attempt, a three-pointer by Lewis, missed with four seconds left to force overtime.
USC never trailed in overtime, and took a four-point lead with 44 seconds left on a free throw from Jio Fontan. But on an effort play, McClellan rebounded his own miss and slid between two players to hit a jumper and cut the lead to two with 25 seconds left. But Texas never got any closer. Terrell hit four free throws down the stretch to close things out.
The game was an ugly one offensively, with Texas out-shooting USC 37 percent to 34.4 percent. But for the second consecutive game, the Longhorns were out-rebounded. USC grabbed 43 boards to Texas's 38, and the Trojans had 15 offensive boards to the Longhorns' seven.
Eric Wise paced the Trojans with 13 points, while Fontan had 11 points and six assists. Byron Wesley scored 10 points and had seven rebounds while Dedmon had a stat-stuffing performance with eight points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 26 minutes.
Lewis had 17 points to lead all scorers. McClellan had 11 points, but took 14 shots to get them. He had seven rebounds. Ioannis Papapetrou had 10 points. Jonathan Holmes (9) and Felix (8) led the Longhorns in rebounds and assists, respectively.
"Today we found some guys that I thought competed, and that's what we've got to get," Barnes said. "We've got to get more of them, but we got a lot better than we did yesterday."
Texas (2-2) will play its final game of the Invitational, the seventh-place game, against Mississippi State at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.