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

Texas turnovers costly in brutal loss to West Virginia

Skyler Sharp
Graduate student guard Max Abmas keeps the ball away from an opponent at the game vs. Delaware State on Nov. 10, 2023. Abmas scored 19 points for the Longhorns, contributing to their 86-59 win.

One week removed from an eye-opening defeat at home to a quality Texas Tech squad, No. 25 Texas men’s basketball failed to shape up, posting one of its worst losses of the year on the road against a patchwork 5–10 West Virginia team with a score of 73-76.

It was a tale of two halves for the Longhorns, neither of which was especially impressive. Texas’ defense kept things close in the first half, but in the second half when the offense started to finally click the defensive effort fell by the wayside.

The only constant throughout for Texas was turnovers. Despite years of experience across the rotation, the Longhorns were repeatedly careless with the basketball, attempting to force lobs, committing travels and barrelling into West Virginia defenders. Turnover problems were thorns in the Longhorns’ side early in the season and reared their head once again in the loss.

Texas’ leading scorer Max Abmas starred despite the loss, posting a season-high 32 points on 7-13 shooting from distance. The graduate transfer’s 10 first-half points were Texas’ only consistent source of offense in a half where Texas tied a season-low 28 points.

The Longhorns had no answer for West Virginia’s Patrick Suemnick in the first half, who energized the West Virginia crowd with 11 first-half points. The senior forward averaged 3.3 points per game entering the contest and finished with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, as well as five offensive rebounds.

Sophomore guard Chendall Weaver impressed off the bench and continued to make his case for extended minutes, helping to hold Mountaineers’ reserve Noah Farrakhan to five points on 1-of-8 shooting. The UT-Arlington transfer has been Texas’ most impressive guard defensively and his nonstop motor leads to a handful of difference-making plays each game, including two in the final minutes to keep the Longhorns alive.

Texas head coach Rodney Terry made a concerted effort to funnel the offense through Dylan Disu who was fresh off a career high 33 points. In the first half, he posted just three points on two shots in the opening half but the graduate forward finished with 18 points and found more success scoring inside. Ultimately, though, no one outside of him or Abmas was able to help shoulder the load offensively. Disu fouled out near the two-minute mark, as did graduate forward Brock Cunningham.

Abmas did everything in his power to will the Longhorns to a win, sinking a trio of clutch three-pointers with under three minutes to keep it a one-possession game, but he was unable to bail Texas out like he did against Cincinnati.

Texas continues to search for more from its transfers outside of Abmas and Weaver. Graduate wing Ithiel Horton and graduate big Kadin Shedrick disappointed, both going scoreless in their stints, and junior big Ze’Rik Onyema’s two-way game remains a work in progress.

Junior guard Tyrese Hunter had a forgettable night with just four points and saw Weaver take most of his minutes in crunch time. Sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell had a few big buckets alongside his sound defense but was quiet for most of the second half, finishing with eight points and four rebounds.

The Longhorns look like a team with minimal margin for error in close games and drop to 12–4 on the year and 1–2 in conference play. Texas will return to the Moody Center on Wednesday to take on Big 12 newcomer UCF.

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