DESPITE 35 FROM ISAIAH TAYLOR, UT FALLS AT TEXAS TECH

Texas cut a 15-point deficit to six points with 4:11 to play, but Isaiah Taylor, who scored 35 points for the Longhorns, needed more help as Texas lost its Big 12 opener at Texas Tech, 82-74.

Texas (8-5, 0-1 Big 12) was completely outplayed by Texas Tech, which improved to 11-1 (1-0 B12) and has proven it is no lightweight with wins over Mississippi State, Hawaii and San Diego State.

Tech scored inside (C Norense Odiase scored 13 points with 7 rebounds) and outside (Toddrick Gotcher was 4-of-6 from 3 and had 18 points) and Devaugntah Williams scored in drives and pull-ups for 23 points.

Still, Texas cut a 15-point deficit down to 67-61 with 4:11 to play. But the Longhorns' next two possessions resulted in an Eric Davis turnover and a missed 3 by Tevin Mack as Tech got hot again and pushed the lead back to 11 with 1:30 to play.

The game got away from Texas in the first half, when Tech built a 35-24 lead at halftime. The Horns got in foul trouble (6 players had 2 fouls in the first half) early, and, without center Cam Ridley (fractured left foot), lived and died from the 3-point line (5-of-16, 31.2 percent). Tech outrebounded UT (20-14) and doubled UT's points in the paint in the first 20 minutes (12-6).

"We obviously are in a situation where we've got to figure out who is a group of guys that we can have out there that can be most effective," said Texas coach Shaka Smart. "Then, who we can have coming off the bench that can give us an added bonus.

"I think on the defensive end, certainly the last two games, we haven't been where we needed to be. Cam's a good defensive player, but I put that more on all the other guys and all of us in general.

"We're just not as good as we need to be right now on the offensive end. Certainly, we're different. We can't throw it in as much inside as we were. But, that's no excuse. We've got to find other ways to score."

In the second half, Taylor took over and scored 28 of his 35 points mostly on drives and free throws (finishing 11 of 22 FG and 13 of 14 FT). Taylor's ability to get into the lane for drives allowed Texas to even up the points in the paint for the game (28-28). But Taylor needed more teammates to step up.

"I thought in the second half he  (Taylor) did a good job of being aggressive, getting to the basket and getting to the foul line," Smart said. "We just didn't play good enough defense. That's the biggest reason that we lost." 

Texas Tech shot 50 percent from the floor (25 of 50) and 42 percent from 3 (5 of 12) and hit 27 of 30 free throws.

Texas hit just 15 of 22 free throws.

The Longhorns shot 42 percent from the floor but finished just 9 of 28 (32.1 percent) from the 3-point line (Isaiah Taylor 0-2, Javan Felix 3-5, Connor Lammert 1-3, Tevin Mack 3-9, Damarcus Holland 0-1, Eric Davis 1-4 and Kerwin Roach 1-4).  

NEXT UP ... Texas (8-5, 0-1 B12) plays at home Tuesday night against Kansas State (10-3, 0-1 B12), which lost at home in double-OT vs WVU on Saturday but has wins over Missouri and Georgia in non-conference play. 

 


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