It was an emotional night at the Frank Erwin Center, as the Longhorns were a day removed from hearing the tragic news that sophomore G Andrew Jones was diagnosed with leukemia. He did not travel in the road loss to the Bears last Saturday.
So, with that in mind, Texas was set to host #16 TCU. And the Longhorns did not disappoint in honor of their teammate.
Texas came out hot to start the game, eventually leading by as much as 13 at 18-5, but the Horned Frogs stormed back after they called a timeout, going on a 9-0 run which made the score 18-15 in favor of the ‘Horns.
Both teams would trade blows, but it was Texas that began to pull ahead, as the halftime score was 43-33. The Longhorns shot 63% from the field and 83% from the line in the first half, so even with heavy hearts this Texas squad came to compete.
But the second half was all about the Horned Frogs, as TCU came roaring back thanks to, in large part, Guard Jaylen Fisher. But the Horned Frogs weren’t going away, as regulation wouldn’t be enough. The score was tied at 77 as the clock struck zero.
Neither teams wanted to give up so easily, so a second overtime was needed. And this would prove to be the last overtime, but not without struggle or strife. Dylan Osetkowski, who struggled to put points on the board, was fouled and shot the go-ahead free throws to retake the lead at 99-98. TCU would have 7 seconds to score to potentially win, but they would not be successful as the Longhorns escaped with a 2OT victory over TCU, their 1st win against a ranked opponent this season.
Dylan Osetkowski struggled to score points most of the game, but eventually returned to his graceful ways. Osetkowski finished with 20 pts/6 reb/2 ast/1 stl.
It was the freshmen that shined in this performance; Matt Coleman finished with 17 pts/12 ast?/3 stls, a team high. Matt looked to be having fun as he dominated the court during the first half.
Mo Bamba had himself a game as well before fouling out, finishing with 10 pts/9 reb/5 blk. Jericho Sims also played great, finishing with 14 points (a career high), 6 reb, and a block.
Last but certainly not least of the freshmen, Jase Febres played well off the bench. Febres tallied 8 pts/3 reb and a block.
Sophomores Eric Davis Jr. and Jacob Young both played great as well, as Davis ended with 22 points and 3 rebounds. Young ended with 8 points and an assist and steal each.
It was a very hard fought battle for both teams, as Texas escaped the Drum with a win. They won this game for Andrew Jones but since he is no longer with the team the Horns must shift to the impossible task of filling the hole that Jones left. Texas next will travel to Stillwater to play the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday.
I would like to wish the best of luck to Andrew Jones, who has the toughest battle ahead. But if his play taught us anything, it’s that his tenacity against leukemia will be just as aggressive as it was on the court. Jones is a strong player, and his demeanor, personality, and of course ability as an athlete will all be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Oklahoma State plays Texas at 4 P.M. on ESPN Saturday.
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