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 crumbles in overtime against No. 4 Houston after an earlier comeback

Lorianne Willett
Forward Dillon Mitchell looks for Max Abmas’ play during Texas’ game against Houston on Monday. Texas lost in overtime 76-72.

Despite what seemed to be its best effort, Texas basketball took another hit after a close but heart-breaking loss to No. 4 Houston 76-72 at home in overtime. 

Tied 65-65 with 21.9 seconds left, neither Houston, who missed their final 3-point attempt, nor Texas, who missed a half court shot with one second left, was able to get points on the board, leading the game into overtime. In those five extra minutes, despite their multiple attempts, the Longhorn squad was unable to execute, making Texas 3—5 in conference play.

“Longhorn Nation came out tonight, really supported us tonight in a big town way,” Head Coach Rodney Terry said after the loss. “I thought our guys gave a great effort tonight against a really high level team.” 

Among a number of other factors, the biggest wrench in the game for a Texas win was Houston’s defense. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation according to 2024 Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings with an adjusted defensive efficiency of 84.6, meaning that the Cougar squad allows the least amount of points to be scored against them. They are currently 9.6 points ahead of the second ranked defense, Purdue, a massive gap that hasn’t been seen in years in NCAA basketball. 

That No. 1 defensive ranking held true with Monday’s matchup. This Texas squad has not been tested this season the way it was by the Cougars. Their pressure at the top of the key caused multiple turnovers, trapping at the wing with unmatched overall athleticism. Houston held Texas to one of its lowest scoring games and outscored Texas in rebounds and blocks.

“That’s what they do. That’s their culture. Their DNA. We scrimmaged them the last two years and it was a bloodbath…,” Terry said about the intensity of the Houston team. “You have to come into the game with the mindset that you’re going to be physical in the glass.”

Their defense paired with a fast-paced offense, allowing them to create a substantial lead over Texas that they held for 70% of the total game time.

However, at the 16-minute mark of the second, the hope of a comeback looked bleak. That was until graduate guard Max Abmas sunk his signature sideline three, followed by sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell’s second dunk of the night and a smart ball movement possession creating a scoring opportunity for graduate forward Dylan Disu. Houston called a timeout, causing a whirlwind of Texas chanting. 

The Longhorns were able to stay at the Cougars’ heels for the remainder of the game and took its first lead, 48-46, since the beginning of the game, with only 10 minutes left after a goal-tending call on Houston.

Texas stayed side by side with Houston with field goal percentages of 43.3% and 41.2% and three point percentages of 30% to 33.3%, respectively, but ultimately fell short in free throws that were necessary to keep Texas on top. Abmas led Texas with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Mitchell himself had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Moody Center was packed for its first ever Stripe Out game, but ultimately the Texas fans left with their heads hung low and the large number of rowdy Houston fans ecstatic.

Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Texas remains in the ring of fire playing four ranked opponents in a row and taking on their fifth, No. 25 TCU, on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. CT in Fort Worth. 

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.