In a season filled with injuries and disappointing performances, the Longhorns may have experienced a small amount of hope for the future on Wednesday night. It was announced prior to tip that junior guard Matt Coleman would miss his first career game while recovering from a heel injury. Coleman joined Jase Febres, Jericho Sims and Gerald Liddell as Longhorns who are currently not playing. Playing short-handed and licking their wounds from a 4-game losing streak, the Longhorns needed a spark, and they received just that with a career game from freshman Will Baker. Baker poured in a career-high 20 points to help lead Texas to a 70-56 win over TCU. The win moves Texas to 15-11 on the season and 5-8 in Big 12 play. The loss drops TCU to 14-12 on the season and 5-8 in conference play.
The Longhorns struggled to find an offensive rhythm early in the game, allowing the Horned Frogs to jump out to a 9-2 lead several minutes into the contest. Baker quickly helped Texas respond, connecting on a pair of three-pointers. The Austin native finished with 4 three-pointers on the evening after entering the contest 1 for 25 for the season.
Despite finding success on the offensive end of the floor, the Longhorns still found themselves trailing at halftime thanks to a strong finish to the half by Desmond Bane and TCU. Bane led all Horned Frogs with 13 points and also grabbed 9 rebounds to go along with 3 assists.
The second half was all Texas. The Longhorns outscored the Horned Frogs 34-18 in large part to Baker’s success and a steady effort from Andrew Jones, who had 9 second-half points and 21 points overall. As a team, the Longhorns were extremely efficient from beyond the arc (9 for 15), a far cry from the type of shooting they received during the majority of Big 12 play so far. The Horned Frogs had a rough night shooting the basketball, finishing 3 for 18 from beyond the arc, including 0 for 10 in the second half.
Texas will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Manhattan to take on Kansas State. The Longhorns won the first meeting between the two teams in Austin earlier this season, 64-50.
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