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Texas rolls to 3rd straight victory with upset win over West Virginia

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A week ago, Texas sat at 4-8 in Big 12 conference play and appeared to be limping to the finish line with questions swirling about the future of their head coach. The injuries and poor performances were piling up, and making the NCAA tournament was a pipedream. Fast forward 7 days and the Longhorns have somehow found themselves back on the NCAA tournament bubble, ripping off 3 straight victories including a 67-57 upset win over West Virginia on Monday night. The win improves the Longhorns conference record to 7-8 and 17-11 overall but more importantly keeps their NCAA tournament chances alive.

Already playing short-handed, the Longhorns received another blow prior to the tip when it was announced Kamaka Hepa would be held of the contest due to an illness. The absence of Hepa gave Shaka Smart 8 scholarship players to work with, and all 8 were used. Texas relied heavily on Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones for almost all of their offensive production. The trio combined for 56 of the Longhorns 67 points. Jones led all scorers with 22 points, with 14 of those points coming in the first half. Ramey and Jones both played nearly the entire game for Texas with Coleman also playing 31 minutes while battling a heel injury.

After a slow start for both teams offensively, the Longhorns began to get rolling behind the shot shooting of Jones, taking a 34-28 lead into halftime. The Mountaineers would climb back within 3-points early in the second half, but it was the closest they would get, as Texas pulled away and prevented any hopes of a comeback down the stretch.

It was another good night for Texas on offense, which has become a trend during their 3-game winning streak. The Longhorns shot 52.4% from the field and 40.9% from deep. Texas also significantly better than West Virginia from the free-throw line, with the Longhorns hitting at a 70% clip (14-20) compared to just 47.6% (10-21) for the Mountaineers.

With 3 games remaining in Big 12 play, Texas has put themselves in position to potentially make a run at sneaking into the field of 68. The Longhorns will travel to Lubbock on Saturday for a tough matchup against Texas Tech before closing out the season at Oklahoma and at home against Oklahoma State. Should the Longhorns finish 2-1 during the final 3-games, they would end the regular season with a .500 record in Big 12 play. A win during the conference tournament would put Texas at 20 wins overall and would put them squarely in the mix to hear their name called on selection Sunday.

Saturday’s game in Lubbock will tip at 11 AM and be broadcasted on ESPN. The Red Raiders defeated the Longhorns earlier this season in Austin, 62-57.

 

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Jameson McCausland is originally from Frisco, Texas, where he grew up a Longhorn fan. His two favorite sports are football and baseball, both of which he covers for HornSports. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his spare time. Jameson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

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