Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

No. 19 Texas defeats LSU behind big first half in Dylan Disu’s return

Julius Shieh

The Longhorns put it all together on Saturday, notching one of their most complete performances of the season on both ends in a 96-85 victory over LSU in The Halal Guys Showcase. The contest marked the season debut of graduate forward Dylan Disu, who made his long-awaited return from a foot injury suffered during last year’s NCAA Tournament.

For much of the past few weeks, despite winning games, Texas’ offense was prone to going cold for long stretches and at points seemed disjointed. Against LSU, however, it looked like a team turning a corner.

The offense was clicking on all cylinders from the jump as the Longhorns sprinted out to an 18-5 lead early, extending the lead to 56-37 at the half in their most prolific period of the season. Where some games have seen the offense carried by graduate guard Max Abmas’ elite shotmaking, it was a team-wide effort against the Tigers, with six players scoring nine or more points.

Texas’ offense was much clunkier in the second half, allowing LSU to cut the lead to seven with less than 10 minutes to go behind a 31-point second half from graduate guard Jordan Wright. However, Texas buckled down when it needed to, generating opportune stops when it counted.

Disu looked like a missing piece for the Longhorns, doing a little bit of everything in his return. The Austin native announced his presence with an and-one off of a lob in his first offensive possession and finished with 17 points, nine of which came from the free throw line. He offered the Longhorns another big body down low, with his length affecting LSU’s opportunities in the paint, and displayed sharp vision as a passer, dishing out five assists.

Sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter put together one of his best outings of the year, second for the Longhorns in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. His burst off the dribble and tight handle gave the Tigers trouble, especially in the first half, and he looked comfortable running the offense for a stretch in the second half when Max Abmas checked out with an injury.

Dillon Mitchell continued to operate as a key piece for the Longhorns. While the sophomore forward’s offensive game ebbs and flows, he continues to look like an All Big-12 Defensive Team candidate, denying LSU at the perimeter and deterring shots around the rim with his verticality. He notched his fourth double-double of the season in a 12-point, 10-rebound effort.

It was sophomore Chendall Weaver on the floor in crunch time over more experienced players like Kadin Shedrick or Ithiel Horton, and head coach Rodney Terry’s faith was rewarded. The UT-Arlington transfer came up big down the stretch, rebounding his own miss to shoot two free throws and draining a three on back-to-back possessions to give the Longhorns some breathing room.

Defensively, the Longhorns excelled in the first half, forcing nine turnovers and holding the Tigers to 40% from the field. After an excellent outing as a rim protector in the win over Houston Baptist, Shedrick took a step back guarding the paint, struggling with LSU’s physicality as he continued an up-and-down campaign.

Graduate forward Brock Cunningham chipped in despite fouling out, sinking three-of-four three-pointers on a day where Texas shot 50% from downtown.

While the Longhorns’ play declined in the second half, the first half offensively was an encouraging sign and the return of Disu dramatically changed the team’s outlook moving forward. Texas improves to 8–2 on the season and will host Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday as Big 12 play approaches.

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About the Contributor
Julius Shieh, Associate Photo Editor
Julius is a third year student from Avon, Connecticut, studying History. He currently serves as the Texan's Associate Photo Editor.