TEXAS CONTROLS KU FOR 30 MINS BEFORE LOSING 76-67 AT PHOG ALLEN FIELDHOUSE

There was actually a lot to like about the Longhorns' performance at Kansas Saturday, including great energy to start the game in grabbing a couple 12-point leads in the first half.

But Texas will look back at Saturday's 76-67 loss at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and realize it missed some point-blank layups and free throws during KU's monster 14-2 run that swung the game.

Let's start with some of the performances that deserve noting for Texas before we turn to where the game got away from the Longhorns.

F Connor Lammert - led Texas with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting despite being in foul trouble the second half ... 

PG Isaiah Taylor - added 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal with only 1 turnover (UT only had 8 turnovers) ... 

G Javan Felix - was good early and late in the game in scoring 12 points. ... Felix hit his first two shots in helping UT get off to the hot start and a couple 12-point leads ... then missed his next 7 shots ... before making his final three FGs as Texas' comeback at the end fell short.

Prince Ibeh - had 7 points, 7 rebounds and 7 blocks and even hit 1 of 3 FTs (33 percent), a step up from the 8 percent he had been averaging from the FT line in Big 12 play before Saturday.

WHERE IT GOT AWAY: The Longhorns will look back at the game film at Kansas - a game Texas led by 12 at two different points in the first half - and will point to a couple key possessions when KU started to make a run about six minutes into the second half when UT missed layups and free throws.

Kansas had cut a 7-point Texas lead to 1 with 14:59 when Isaiah Taylor missed a point-blank layup, KU grabbed the rebound but missed a 3 on the other end.

Then, Kerwin Roach drove it all the way to the cup and missed from point-blank range. KU grabbed the rebound but 7th-year senior Perry Ellis, who finished with 26 points (after scoring 28 vs Texas in Lawrence last year), missed the 3 on the other end.

Roach had another great look at the basket and missed an easy jumper. Lucky for the Horns, Eric Davis flew in and put back Roach's miss.

Texas' next trip down the floor, Prince Ibeh turned it over, and Ellis made UT pay for it with a layup on the other end.

Still, KU was only up 2 after Ellis converted Ibeh's turnover into points.

But roof of Phog Allen was starting to come off. With KU on an 11-2 run (that would grow to 14-2), the Horns were desperate for an answer basket. Instead, Roach, a freshman in his first game at Phog Allen, missed two free throws with 12:20 left.

At that point, KU smelled the blood in the water after Taylor and Roach missed those bunnies, Ibeh's turnover and Roach's FTs, and started drilling 3s.

KU would hit 7 of its next 8 shots - four of them from 3-point range (2 each by Wayne Selden and Devonte Graham) in taking an 11-point lead with 8:44 left. That lead would grow to 13 three different times. KU's last 13-point lead came on a 3 by Ellis with 4:38 to play.

FIGHTING UNTIL THE END: Texas, after missing some long-range shots, then wisely began attacking the basket again, attempting to draw fouls and score from the FT line with the clock stopped. It nearly worked.

Despite not getting a couple calls Texas probably should have on a couple drives by Javan Felix, Texas went on a 9-2 run fueled by four points from Felix, a 3 by Lammert and a driving layup by Taylor.

With KU's lead down to 6 with 45 seconds left, Roach made a beautiful drive to the bucket, tried to draw contact and ended up missing a layup from point-blank range. 

That was Texas' last gasp.

A LOT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT ... AND SOME RECURRING PROBLEMS: For about 30 of the 40 minutes, Texas was outstanding. KU didn't take its first lead of the game until there were 12 minutes left.

KU tightened up its defense after halftime and limited Felix (12 points), who made his first two shots, missed his next 7 shots and made his final 3 shots.

The Horns turned the ball over just 8 times - exactly the same as in their win at WVU earlier this week.

But like that WVU game, KU punished Texas on the boards - 39-31, including 13-5 on the offensive glass, leading to a 19-5 advantage in second-chance points.

When you consider Texas basically played this game without Shaq Cleare, who suffered a shoulder injury after 3 minutes of action, and with red hot Connor Lammert hindered by foul trouble the second half, there was a lot to like about the first 30 minutes of action from the Horns at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

At WVU earlier this week, Javan Felix provided the answer baskets when UT's 7-point lead was erased late in the game. Today in Lawrence, Texas missed some easy chances to answer when its 7-point lead was erased and then dug itself a hole too big to get out of after KU made its big run.

But you can see the progress. This team is listening to Shaka Smart, and the Horns are getting better.

NEXT UP:  ... TCU at the Erwin Center on Tuesday at 7 pm (LHN) and then a home game vs Vanderbilt in the Big 12-SEC Challenge next Saturday at 11 am (ESPN2).


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