The Texas Longhorns (4-1) had enough to pull off a comeback win against Louisville on Sunday, but unfortunately Monday’s game against the defending national champion UCONN Huskies (5-0) had a different ending. The Huskies started fast, efficient and jumped out to a quick lead, one they never relinquished thanks to an up-and-down shooting effort from the Longhorns.
UCONN took a 46-33 lead into the locker room at the half but Texas came out with some intensity in the second half, trimming the Husky lead to as few as 4 points (71-67) at the 5:24 mark. From that point on poor shooting and turnovers plagued the ‘Horns, and they were only able to add a dunk by Tyrese Hunter and a layup by Dillon Mitchell to the scoreboard. UCONN made their shots and free throws down the stretch en route to claim the Empire Classic Championship by the score of 81-71.
The Longhorns were without forward Kaden Shedrick, who was held out as a precaution following the team’s win over the Cardinals the day before. However, the ‘Horns did receive a career-night on the hardwood from sophmore Dillon Mitchell, who scored 21 points with a game-high 8 rebounds and two blocks. Tyrese Hunter had 13 points and 7 assists, while Ithiel Horton and Max Abmas each it double digits in scoring with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Texas shot 45.2% from the floor and 31.3% from three-point range. UCONN shot 47.5% and 29.2% from behind the arc.
The Longhorns head back to Austin and will host Wyoming on Sunday at the Moddy Center with tipoff coming at 2:00 PM. The game will be televised on Longhorn Network.