Cameron Ridley makes presence felt on boards as Longhorns stifle Mississippi State Bulldogs over Thanksgiving break

Nick Cremona

The Longhorns’ trip to Maui wasn’t a total bust. Texas was able to fend off a short-handed Mississippi State team this past Wednesday, earning a 69-55 win over the Bulldogs.

Sheldon McClellan led Texas with 19 points off the bench and freshman center Cameron Ridley nearly recorded his first career double-double with eight points and a season-high 12 rebounds. Ridley also added five blocks and three steals, rounding out a productive night for the big man.

Texas led for much of the game, going up by as much as 18 points in the first half, and finished shooting 50 percent from the field as a team. The Longhorns connected on more than half of their three-point attempts, but did struggle to make free throws, as evidenced by their 7-of-16 showing from the line.

Despite showing signs of progress against an ailing Bulldog squad, some habits were a little harder for the Horns to kick.

Following a disturbing trend in the early goings of this season, the Longhorns turned the ball over 22 times against Mississippi State. Sophomore guard Julien Lewis, who contributed 15 points to the Longhorns’ total, had eight turnovers himself compared to just two assists. However, freshman point guard Javan Felix was able to get in a rhythm, dishing out seven assists and turning the ball over only twice. With no signs of suspended point guard Myck Kabongo coming back any time soon, Felix will have to continue to be judicious with the ball in order for Texas to improve.

Texas may have won another messy game, but the Longhorns did an admirable job defensively, allowing the Bulldogs to make just a third of their shots as a team. Roquez Johnson led the way for the Bulldogs with 18 points, six rebounds and six steals, but there was little to show from the rest of the team.

Despite its 3-2 record, Texas has held its opponents to 33 percent shooting through five games.

Printed on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 as: Horns beat Bulldogs in Maui