USA Today


The 24th-ranked Texas Longhorns bounced back from consecutive road losses at No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 13 Iowa State by sweeping No. 10 West Virginia - 85-78 - in Austin Tuesday, remaining undefeated at home in Big 12 play.

Texas (17-9, 8-4 Big12) erased an early 8-point deficit with a 15-point, first-half explosion by freshman Eric Davis and a clutch performance from Isaiah Taylor, who finished with 23 points. The Mountaineers, who lost to Texas in Morgantown, 56-49, on Jan. 20, fell to 20-6 and 9-4.

Taylor's performance on Tuesday, when he had all the answers every time Texas needed them, including 13 of 13 from the FT line was a far cry from his 0-of-8 shooting performance in UT's win at West Virginia last month.

Shaka Smart told his team the only way the entire team would start to play at a high level at the same time would be if the Longhorns were willing to be unselfish and play for each other, refusing to let each other down.

Even though WVU beat Texas on the boards 40-22, helping to gain an 18-11 advantage in second-chance points, the Longhorns forced the Mountaineers into 14 turnovers (compared to only 7 by UT).

Texas had 3 early turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the game that WVU converted into 7 points and took an early 16-8 lead on the Longhorns in front of a late-arriving crowd at the Erwin Center.

But Taylor, who committed 2 of those early turnovers, and Javan Felix, who committed the other TO, both settled down and finished the first half with a combined 17 points. Combined with Davis' 15 first-half points - 4-of-4 3PTs - Texas was able to close the half on a 12-4 run and take a 45-36 lead at intermission.

Texas led by as many as 16 with 3:42 left and then started missing shots from the floor, allowing WVU to claw back within 5 points with 38 seconds left (77-72). But Texas went 10-of-10 from the foul line in the final 51 seconds (2-of-2 by Roach, 2-of-2 by Tevin Mack and 6-of-6 by Taylor) to seal the sweep of the Mountaineers.

The 12,284 fans listed in attendance helped CREATE CHAOS! for the Horns! 

NEXT UP ... home against No. 25 Baylor, Saturday, 1 pm CT .... 

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