Longhorns topple TCU, win for second time in three games


Shelby Tauber

 Connor Lammert (21) slam dunks the ball.

Christian Corona

Don’t look now, but Texas has won two of its last three games.

Coming into last weekend, TCU had not won a game in Big 12 play. That didn’t change Saturday. The Longhorns held a 12-point lead at halftime and never led by fewer than nine points in the second half. They made quick work of a hapless TCU team, taking down the Horned Frogs, 60-43, on Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center.

In its first game since a 26-point loss to Kansas State last Wednesday, the school’s worst road loss in Big 12 play under Rick Barnes, Texas (10-11, 2-6) dominated TCU. The Longhorns shot a season-best 52.3 percent from the floor and held the Horned Frogs (9-12, 0-8) to 32.7 percent shooting. Coming into the game, Texas was holding opponents to 36 percent shooting from the floor, the third-best mark in the country.

“I don’t think it’s about embarrassment. It’s about pride,” freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou, who scored 13 points and recorded three assist, said. “We know we’re Texas. We know what the program’s about, what the tradition’s about. We knew we could have done better [against Kansas State]. We blame ourselves.”

The Longhorns, who lost each of their first five games in Big 12 play, have won twice in as many Saturdays. They were led by sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan, who scored a team-high 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting, and had two steals. Freshman forward Connor Lammert also scored a season-high 10 points.

“We knew we had to get this win,” Lammert said. “We tried to keep the tempo up but this game, we had an emphasis on getting the ball inside more, going inside out. We shot a higher percentage because we got the ball inside more and hit the open guys on the outside.”

Texas led by as many as 19 points before TCU went on a 8-0 run and cut the Longhorns’ lead to 48-39 with 7:10 remaining in the second half. Garlon Green hit two three-pointers during the run — the only two the Horned Frogs would hit all night — but Texas didn’t let TCU get any closer. The Longhorns won by 17, marking their biggest win since a 83-67 triumph over North Carolina on Dec. 19.

“They were more engaged today than ever,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “We had more guys talking and helping each other. I think the real question is why that happens. That’s where we get a lead and get lazy mentally and think we can take a little time off.”

In his 500th game at Texas, Barnes led the Longhorns to their 100th win over the Horned Frogs. They will travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia in their next game Monday.