Longhorns take down Sam Houston State 73-57 in historic Gregory Gym game

Christina Huang, Sports Reporter

Historic Gregory Gymnasium rocked like it hadn’t since 1977 on Monday night.

In front of a packed house of rabid students, the No. 7 Texas Longhorns took down Sam Houston State 73-57.

Fun and unprecedented energy filled the night in the old gym that now only hosts regular volleyball matches. For context, Gregory holds a little under 3,300 fans compared to Frank Erwin Center’s capacity of 16,734. The students came out in full force, with some of the loudest cheers echoing throughout the building. Students dressed in cow suits yelled “get in the hole” during free throws.

Texas head coach Chris Beard was appreciative of the student turnout.

“The message to the students is thank you, and come check out the Erwin Center,” Beard said. “We can have a party over there too.”

Members of the Texas Wranglers spirit group cheer during Texas’ 73-57 win over Sam Houston State on Monday night at Gregory Gymnasium. Jack Myer/The Daily Texan

Despite all of the fun from the game and the preceding party at the Tower, the game started out a little shaky for the Longhorns.

Sam Houston entered the game with an 0-6 all-time record against Texas, but the winless history did not stop the opposing team from causing major trouble early on.

The Bearkats showed little fear in the face of the hostile atmosphere, starting the game with an impressive defensive performance. Senior guard Courtney Ramey had to call a timeout just fifteen seconds into the game after being stifled by Bearkat defenders and being unable to find an open teammate.

In the paint, the Bearkats outscored the Longhorns 16 to eight in the first half, but Texas got back on track by the end of the period.

Senior guard Marcus Carr scored eight points in the last three minutes of the first half, giving Texas a solid end to the first half as Gregory Gym erupted for the point guard’s play. Carr ended the game with 19 points, four assists and three rebounds.

“I just wanted (Carr) to not get in the paint tonight, and I thought we did a great job on him, but he jumped up and made a bunch of threes,” Bearkats head coach Jason Hooten said. “I thought he was the difference in the game tonight.”

Carr was not the only Longhorn with a solid night. Senior forward Timmy Allen and senior guards Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones also scored at least 10 points. Allen also had a season high seven assists.

But the main story of the night was still the electric environment at Gregory Gymnasium.

“It was definitely fun and one of the best environments (that) I’ve been in (during) my collegiate career,” Carr said.

In spite of the slow first half, Texas still pulled off a 16-point win. The Longhorns will be back in action again later this week against UT-Rio Grande Valley, and Beard wants to strive to create a similar environment going forward at all of Texas’ basketball games. Getting the students involved like they were Monday  is just the first step in his plan for building a strong basketball culture in Austin.

“We’ve got to get an emotional attachment with our fans and to do that you have to have a relationship. I believe we can create that,” Beard said. “I’d like to do it in the Frank Erwin Center. I’d like to do it Friday night.”