Here's a quick look at the Texas Longhorns' 68-59 win over the TCU Horned Frogs at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth on Tuesday night.
How the Longhorns (12-14, 4-9 in the Big 12) Won
It wasn't exactly a lockdown defensive effort or a night where the offense was executing with great precision. This win was more about Texas putting together enough good runs and moments where it was efficient and consistent on both ends of the floor that added up to a victory. Myck Kabongo was strong down the stretch and a few key buckets late pushed the Longhorns across the finish line.
How the Horned Frogs (10-16, 1-12) Lost
Like the game in Austin earlier this month TCU did enough to not only stay in the game but make it competitive. At the end of the day, much like the first meeting between the two that resulted in a Texas victory, the Horned Frogs just didn't make enough plays when it counted. Other than Garlon Green (15 points on 6-of-13 shooting) the Frogs didn't have someone they could go to for a clutch basket.
Goes to Connor Lammert. Not only did the freshman forward fill out the stat sheet nicely (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot) but he was efficient from the floor (5-for-6) only missing on a three-point shot late in the game. His hustle and consistency at both ends is one of the true bright spots this team can take with it into the offseason.
It Was Over When...
Demarcus Holland canned his lone three-point shot of the game with 1:09 to go in regulation. The possession was extended thanks to a heads-up offensive rebound by Jonathan Holmes. The ball eventually wound up in Myck Kabongo's hands, who drove baseline and found Holland camped out behind the three-point line. Holland, who has been inconsistent shooting the ball all season, finished with nine points by making both field goal attempts he took and going 4-for-5 at the foul line.
To Myck Kabongo. He wasn't perfect but Kabongo carried the Longhorns in the first half and was a strong down the stretch. Of his 13 points and seven assists, he had eight points (4-for-5 shooting) and five dimes by halftime. Clearly the Longhorns are a much better team when Kabongo can push the tempo and allow Texas to get out and run. TCU's ability to slow the pace down was a huge reason the Frogs even stayed in it as long as they did.
To the minutes for Shelton McClellan and Cameron Ridley. Ridley was only on the floor for six minutes tallying three points and one rebound. That's five more minutes than McClellan played. The sophomore from Houston officially recorded one minute of action and failed to record a statistic. Yes, Texas is getting contributions from other guys but the future of the program is much brighter if McClellan and Ridley are a major part of things.
Was the three-point shooting. Texas finished 7-for-18 from behind the arc, but it was three treys by Ioannis Papapetrou that helped lift Texas to an early 41-30 lead right after halftime. After shooting the ball dismally against Kansas, Texas started out hitting it's first three from behind the line on Tuesday night. That included a trey by Julien Lewis that gave Texas an early first half lead, 21-11.
Was the inability of the Longhorns to pull away. There were several occasions, most of which have already been mentioned in this piece, where the Longhorns led by double figures. Still, Texas never pulled away kept the game out of reach for TCU. Perhaps it's unrealistic to expect this team to do that on the road, but there were multiple chances where the Longhorns could have won going away.
Stat(s) of the Night
The Longhorns have been turnover prone all season but only had nine for the game with just three of those coming in the second half. Jaylen Bond, Sheldon McClellan and Cameron Ridley all played six or fewer minutes while everyone else on the roster played at least 13. Ioannis Papapetrou, Demarcus Holland and Javan Felix were a combined 6-for-11 behind the arc. Of Connor Lammert's seven rebounds, three were on the offensive glass.
Story of the Day
Considering the way the Kansas debacle went down, anything that resulted in a win should be considered a huge plus for this Texas team. As previously mentioned, this team is better when Kabongo can push the tempo and can get to the basket. The biggest difference between this game and the Kansas game was that guys were knocking down open shots when Kabongo got guys to commit to his drive. Texas needed this win because this is the last game on the schedule that could be considered anything close to a lock for a win. The good news is the Longhorns play three of their next four games at home before ending the regular season Mar. 9 at Texas Tech.