If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That saying, one parroted by parents, coaches and teachers throughout childhoods across the country, was certainly apt on Saturday. With the Longhorns having a chance to win in regulation, guard Javan Felix missed a runner at the buzzer, sending the game to an extra frame tied at 73.
Given a second chance at a game winner, this time with the Longhorns trailing 80-78, Felix didn't miss. Texas ran the play that Kansas calls "chop"; a dribble handoff on the wing that gave Mario Chalmers two last-second shots in 2008, one against Texas and one late to tie Memphis in the National Championship game.
There are several variations of the play, and this one had point guard Isaiah Taylor dribble to the right win and hand the ball off to Felix cutting back from the baseline toward the wing. A ball screen from Connor Lammert delayed Josh Brown just enough to give Felix time to pull up from the wing, just before Anthony Lee could get out to challenge. Felix — just 1-for-10 before the final shot — buried the three-pointer between the two defenders for a one-point lead with eight seconds left.
Felix almost didn't get a chance for the win. Lammert went to the free throw line, down one at 79-78, with 15 seconds left, but he missed both shots. Pepper grabbed the rebound and was fouled with a chance to make it a three-point game. He made the first free throw, but was whistled for a lane violation on the second, setting up Felix's final attempt.
For a while, this one didn't look like it would be close, with Texas winning the first half 48-37 behind strong play from Taylor. The freshman point guard threw up an exemplary 15-point, two-assist, no-turnover first half. But he didn't score again, and he committed three second-half turnovers without dishing out an assist in the second stanza.
Overall, the second half was a rough one for the Longhorns, who turned the ball over nine times and shot juts 24.1 percent from the floor. That was enough to allow Temple to come back from 13 points down with 16:40 to go to take a one-point lead at 71-70 with 3:01 left in the game. Pepper then extended that lead to three with a layup with 2:31 remaining.
But Demarcus Holland got one of those points back when he went 1-for-2 from the free throw line with 1:40 left, and Jonathan Holmes rebounded the miss. After Cameron Ridley missed a jumper, Holmes again corralled the offensive rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws to tie the game at 73.
Texas had to play the final few minutes of overtime without their two best post players, with both Ridley and Holmes fouling out. But Prince Ibeh filled in well, blocking three shots in overtime and making a key tip-in.
Holmes paced the Longhorns with 16 points and eight rebounds, with Ridley (11-8 with three blocks) and Ibeh (11-6-4) helping him establish dominance inside. All told, the Longhorns held an 11-rebound advantage, a 9-2 lead in blocked shots and a 17-point edge in points off the bench.
Temple (4-4) was led by 23 points and 14 rebounds from Lee and 20 points, four rebounds and five assists from Pepper. Will Cummings added 13 points and four assists before fouling out and Quenton DeCosey had 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists.