Horns beat Huskers, remain unbeaten in Big 12

The more injury hits this Texas team takes, the better it seems to get.

The Horns played almost the entire second half Saturday at the Erwin Center without starting point guard T.J. Ford, who tweaked his ankle in Monday's Tech game, but UT still overcame a 10-point early second half deficit to beat Nebraska 77-66.

The Horns ran away from the Huskers late in the game largely due to the off-the-bench play of senior guard Fredie Williams. Williams, who returned from his own injury seven games ago, keyed the Longhorns' late second half resurgence with both his defense and his offense. Fredie tied his season highs in rebounds (six) and assists (four), but his steal and length of the court drive and bucket with just under five minutes to play gave Texas the lead for good after trailing for the majority of the afternoon. Williams also nailed a three pointer two minutes later and his steal on Nebraska's next possession led to a James Thomas dunk on the other end of the floor, pushing the UT lead to an near insurmountable 11 points with just over two minutes play.

"Fredie really stepped in there and gave us a big lift when we needed it," Rick Barnes said post-game. "We couldn't have won this game without him."

Williams finished with 10 points and three steals to go along with his career highs in rebounds and assists.

Sophomore post player Thomas, who has played a prominent role in the Horns' now six-game win streak since Chris Owens was lost for the season in Utah, redshirt freshman big man Jason Klotz and true freshman swingman Sydmill Harris also stepped up down the stretch.

Thomas pulled Texas within one, setting Williams up for the go-ahead bucket on the Horns' next possession, with a three-point play after a great dish on a defense-splitting drive by Harris. Harris also knocked down a three pointer in the final five minutes and Thomas had a couple of inside scores as Texas pulled away.

During the Horns' 22-5 game-closing run, Thomas, Williams and Brian Boddicker accounted for 18 of those 22 points.

"I told the team that the best part about where we are right now, on any given night anybody could step up for us," the Texas head coach said post-game.

"I thought we showed a lot of resiliency," Barnes added. "When we went down 10, I was determined not to call a timeout and to make them play through it. I had said all I could to 'em at that point. And they (played through) it."

Nebraska led 32-31 at the half, 41-31 after two-and-a-half minutes of the second half and 61-55 with six minutes to play before Texas closed with a flourish. The Huskers' earned those leads with their hot shooting from beyond the arc. The visitors hit a school-record 15 treys, but just one of those came during the game's final six minutes.

Overall, Nebraska shot 39.7-percent from the field and 41.7-percent from the arc, while the Horns hit 45.6-percent and 36.8-percent from downtown. The Huskers attempted more three point shots (36) than shots from inside the arc (22). Four Nebraska players finished in double figures, led by guard Cary Cochran's 19 points, 15 of those coming on threes. Thomas paced the Longhorn scorers with 15 points. Royal Ivey totaled 11 points and Brandon Mouton added nine. Klotz registered career highs in scoring and rebounding with nine and eight, respectively.

With the win, UT moved to 13-4 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12. Kansas (15-2, 4-0), after knocking off Oklahoma earlier Saturday, is the only other undefeated league team.

"Our goal is to win the Big 12 championship," Williams said post-game. "And we can't do that losing at home."

Largely because of Williams, the Horns didn't.

Texas next faces A&M at the Erwin Center Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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