Timmy Allen takes reins, leads No. 20 Texas to comeback win with electric 2nd half play


Julius Shieh

Timmy Allen stops to pass the ball during a game against Iowa State. Texas won 63-41 on February 5, 2022.

Nick Pannes, Sports Reporter

Timmy Allen dominated the court from start to finish Saturday as the senior forward led No. 20 Texas to a last-second 82-81 win against West Virginia on the road.

Despite the Mountaineers coming into the game as underdogs, the team matched the Longhorns pound for pound in an offensive slugfest. The contest in Morgantown, West Virginia, resulted in the highest point total in a game for Texas but also the second highest points allowed total for the Longhorns, who are currently ranked fourth in the country for scoring defense, allowing an average of just 58 points per game.

Allen displayed poise and leadership right out of the gate. The 6-foot-6-inch forward combined with longtime Texas senior guards Jase Febres and Andrew Jones for 26 of the Longhorns’ 43 points in the first half, propelling the team to a six-point lead going into halftime. But when most of Texas’ star scorers were shut out in the second half, Allen took the game into his own hands.

Allen’s second half included three assists, two offensive rebounds and seven total rebounds, a block, a steal and 17 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting. Allen’s eight total trips to the free-throw line were the biggest boon to his scoring, earning him nine points on 12 attempts in the second half alone.

A late burst of scoring from Febres and senior guard Marcus Carr gave Allen the support he needed to engineer a 10-point comeback with 10 minutes remaining. After West Virginia fashioned a 3-point play to cut Texas’ lead to one, a turnover by Allen presented a golden opportunity for the Mountaineers to regain the lead with nine seconds left.

But Allen stormed back down the court, grabbed a rebound and was fouled immediately with one second remaining. Allen missed his second free throw purposefully, and West Virginia was unable to do anything as the clock expired.

For the Mountaineers, their offense was powered by breakout play from Malik Curry, a fifth-year senior guard coming off the bench. As it has done successfully throughout the season, Texas was able to isolate and largely shut down its opponent’s top scorer, Taz Sherman, a fifth-year senior guard.

However, Curry showed that in a conference with as much talent as the Big 12, a threat can appear from anywhere. Curry started off the game hot with 13 first-half points. He was the only player for his team in double figures at the end of the first half, and one of two players on West Virginia to score more than five points in the first 20 minutes of play.

In the second half, Curry played even better, scoring 14 points, going 4-for-8 from the field and shooting 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Gabe Osabuohien, teammate and fifth-year senior forward, scored 10 points after a silent first half while Sherman found enough openings to add nine of his own.

Most of the three Mountaineers’ points came early in the second half, but when Curry’s teammates tired out he kept upping the ante. Curry scored seven of his team’s nine points down the final three-minute stretch, including the 3-point play that put his team one point away from victory.

In the end, Allen’s season-high scoring performance beat out Curry’s, and the Longhorns moved to 10–6 in conference play. Texas now has two games left in the season, hosting No. 10 Baylor in the Longhorns’ last official game at the Frank Erwin Center on Monday before traveling to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on the No. 5 Jayhawks on March 5.