Five thoughts from Texas’ 76-67 loss to No. 3 Kansas

Akshay Mirchandani

Here are five thoughts about Texas' 76-67 loss to No. 3 Kansas

Longhorns fight valiantly

It was tough to envision the Longhorns getting a win at Kansas, a place where the Jayhawks are nearly unbeatable. But, for a while, Texas looked like it might have what it takes to shock Kansas in Lawrence. Despite a great first half from Texas, Kansas fought all the way back and ran Texas off the court in the second half. It’s going in the loss column, but the Longhorns have to feel good that they were able to compete in a tough environment.

Offense tails off in second half

Texas led Kansas 35-30 at halftime and was up by as many as 12 points in the first 20 minutes. That was in part thanks to 51.9 percent shooting in the first half. But the Longhorns didn’t do as well the second half, shooting 44.8 percent in the second half and finishing the game at 25 percent from beyond the arc. Kansas, meanwhile, improved from 37.5 percent shooting in the first half to 43.3 percent in the second. The Jayhawks also made 14 free throws in the final period. The Longhorns missed the outside shots they made in the first half and couldn’t get in a rhythm again.

Veterans play well for both teams

Both Texas and Kansas are veteran-laden teams, and it showed on Saturday. Texas senior forward Connor Lammert had 15 points on a career-high five 3-pointers while senior center Prince Ibeh had a career-high seven blocks. Junior guard Isaiah Taylor added 13.

But, Jayhawk senior forward Perry Ellis caused Texas fits on Saturday.  Ellis dropped 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field to go with 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Kansas senior guard Wayne Selden Jr. had 19 points for the Jayhawks. Texas’ veterans played well, but couldn’t match what Kansas’ cornerstones did.

Foul trouble plagues Texas

The Longhorns struggled with foul troubles for most of the day. Taylor, freshman guard/forward Tevin Mack and freshman guard Kerwin Roach Jr. each ended with three fouls, while Ibeh had four and Lammert fouled out. As a team, the Longhorns committed 22 fouls while Kansas had 13. There were some questionable calls and a few no-calls, but, no matter the situation, it proved to be a big problem for the Longhorns.

Texas goes 1-1 in difficult week

This was a measuring stick week for Texas. The Longhorns played two top six teams in the country on the road and went 1-1 — Texas beat No. 6 West Virginia on Tuesday night. Losing to No. 3 Kansas in a winnable game is something Texas can’t be happy with, but it can take solace in the fact that it beat West Virginia and competed with Kansas. One win is better than no wins in this kind of week.