Texas overcomes 18-point deficit to defeat TCU in a 79-75 home win

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 10 Texas was down 18 points to TCU in the first half, but clawed its way back to nab a  79-75 win on Wednesday night at the Moody Center.

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon had one answer when it came to the difference between this year’s Texas team and last year’s, which fell to TCU in the Big 12 tournament:

“They play faster.”

Junior guard Mike Miles Jr. and senior forward Emanuel Miller seconded the nod to Texas’ increased pace of play.

Led by the scoring and defensive efforts of senior forward Dylan Disu, the Longhorns found themselves within striking distance with 4:39 on the clock, which seemed far-fetched for much of Wednesday’s action.

“I thought (Disu) did a lot of positive things for us on the floor tonight,” acting head coach Rodney Terry said.

It would come down to two free throws from graduate student guard Sir’Jabari Rice to knot the game up at 67, and the transfer from New Mexico State made them both. The game was tied for the first time since 17:57 remained in the first half.

Both Texas and TCU traded scores after that, but an eventual 3-pointer by graduate senior Marcus Carr gave the Longhorns their first lead since the opening minutes of the game with 14:18 left in the half.

Miller had a chance to tie the game back up after a potential 3-point play, but the electrified crowd at the Moody Center rattled him into missing the free throw attempt.

Texas struggled to maintain possession early through a handsy TCU defense that forced eight steals and recorded six blocks in the first half, but it cleaned up the offensive mistakes in the second half to begin the comeback.

In the final 20 minutes, Texas wasn’t blocked once and only fell victim to two steals in addition to its increased offensive output.

Texas vaulted its field goal percentage from 38% in the first half to 59% in the second half.

After the comeback win, the Longhorns proved their ability to win matchups with their backs against the wall — which may pay off later in the season.

“You’ve gotta be able to close out games,” Terry said. “You close out games by getting stops, and you close out games by making free throws.”

Texas moves to 3–1 in Big 12 play and hosts Texas Tech on Saturday night.