Texas Drops Conference Opener

The No. 12 Longhorns (13-3) were undefeated in conference openers under head coach Rick Barnes, starting Big 12 play with a win in each of his nine seasons on the 40 Acres. That streak ended Saturday when the Missouri Tigers (11-5) upset Texas, 97-84.

Box Score

It was a complete and total breakdown in the second half.

The Longhorns, known for their stout defense under Barnes, gave up a season high -- a season-high by 16, at that -- 97 points to the Missouri Tigers in the loss.

Texas was in control for most of the first half and appeared headed to yet another conference-opening victory. The Horns went into the break up by only two, 40-38, but Texas was in control of the tempo.

Texas was also being carried by a dominating performance from Damion James. The sophomore forward had already amassed 19 points and seven boards and wasn't missing from anywhere on the floor.

This is, until the second half.

James was shut out by Missouri for most of the second half and didn't get his first points until 6:38 remained in the game and by that point it was already out of reach. James finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds, nine of them offensive, but his teammates did not step up in his absence on the offensive end. The real collapse, though, was on defense.

Missouri came roaring out of the gates to start the second half, jumping out to a ten-point lead, 52-42, over Texas.

The Longhorns didn't hit their first field goal until D.J. Augustin dropped a three-point from the top of the arch with 16:20 to go, but Texas still trailed by seven.

Things did not improve for the Horns. The Tigers were deadly from the outside throughout the game, hitting 46.2 percent of their three-point shots (12-of-26) and were very balanced in scoring. Six different Tigers finished in double-digits with Keon Lawrence leading the way, dropping down 18 points.

Texas also struggled from the free throw line, making only 50 percent from the line (11-of-22). Augustin, who came in hitting 82 percent of his shots from the charity stripe, was an uncharacteristic 3-of-8 from the free throw line. The sophomore point guard finished with 17 points and eight assists, but also had five turnovers.

Missouri took advantage of its opportunities from the line, making 21-of-30 free throws.

Texas made a late run, especially once James was able to get back into the game, but Missouri pushed the petal down, scoring 13 points over the last 1:39 to secure the win.

Texas is off for the rest of the week before taking on Colorado on Saturday. Tip-off at the Erwin Center is set for 7:00 p.m.


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