The Texas Longhorns (13-5, 2-3 Big 12) were upset by Central Florida on their home court Tuesday, dropping Rodney Terry’s club to the bottom of the Big 12 with three conference losses. Additionally, the loss left Texas fans scratching their heads wondering if this team possessed the resolve and grit to turn things around the rest of the way. While it is still premature to answer those questions, Terry and the Longhorns took a good step in that direction on Saturday defeating a Top-10 Baylor program 75-73.
Led by junior guard Tyrese Hunter with 21 points, the Longhorns went toe-to-toe with the Bears for 40 minutes, turning the ball over just seven times in a game that had 21 lead changes and 10 ties. It was a well-balanced effort by Texas, as they spread the ball around and saw four players score in double digits.
Behind Hunter, graduate forward Dylan Disu asserted his presence with 19 points and two steals. Point guard Max Abmas contributed 15 points and 7 assists, propelling him ahead of former North Carolina player Tyler Hansbrough (2,872) to move into the No. 16 spot on the NCAA Division I all-time career scoring list with 2,880 points.
Virginia transfer forward Kadin Shedrick played his best game since the New Year’s Day win over UT-Arlington, scoring 10 points off the bench in just 16 minutes played. Shedrick is a key piece of the puzzle and the Longhorns need him to continue to play well consistently.
Texas led by as many as eight points at the 5:43 mark in the first half but Baylor clawed back to trim the lead to 42-41 at the half in favor of the Longhorns.
In the second half the Bears held the lead for most of the half, until a free throw by Shedrick gave Texas a 67-66 lead with 4:15 remaining. A turnover by the Bears led to a layup by Dylan Disu, extending the Longhorns’ lead to three points. Next, Baylor and Texas traded a pair of free throws, but a foul by Dylan Mitchell sent Ja’Kobe Walter to the line where he made both shots. At that point the Longhorns led by one with :50 remaining.
A missed jumper by Disu led to a much-needed offensive rebound by a hustling Chendall Weaver. Weaver got the ball into the hands Max Absmus who was fouled and made both free throws.
With :05 left on the game clock, Bears forward Jalen Bridges drained a three point shot to tie the game. Rodney Terry chose not to take a timeout which ended up paying big dividends. Instead, Tyrese Hunter drove the length of the floor on the inbound and made a buzzer-beater as he fell backwards on the floor, giving the Longhorns a much-needed Big 12 win.
Up next: Texas will travel to Norman to take on the No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday. Tipoff takes place at 6:00 PM at the Noble Center and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.