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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Longhorns’ comeback effort falls short as home struggles continue

Kennedy Weatherby
Forward Dylan Disu dribbles the ball during the Texas men’s basketball game against Iowa State University on Feb. 6, 2024. The Longhorns lost the game 70-65.

Another day, another interconference nail-biter for Texas men’s basketball. But tonight, like more nights than not this year for the Longhorns, they came out on the losing end.

Despite a herculean second-half effort spearheaded by graduate forward Dylan Disu, Texas’ comeback attempt came up short, dropping to 1—4 in Big 12 play at the Moody Center with a 70-65 loss to No. 14 Iowa State.

Texas, which never led in the contest, came out sputtering, trailing 20-7 through ten minutes of play due to an aggressive Cyclone defense. Iowa State knocked down four of its eight attempts from three in the first half as the Longhorns limped into halftime down 36-19 with no semblance of an offensive rhythm.

The half had all the makings of what has haunted Texas in its off nights this season: sloppy turnovers, unnecessary fouls, tunnel vision and above all, a totally static half-court offense. 

Disu caught fire in the second half, willing Texas back into the game, shaving the lead to three behind a 22-point period. 17 of those points came in the final eight minutes, as Disu functioned as Texas’ sole threat offensively and began to find his range, notching the Longhorns’ first three of the night with under seven minutes to go.

However, while Texas was able to hold Iowa State to just 31.4% from the field in the second half, it wasn’t able to dig itself out of its first-half hole.

“I think at TCU we started slow as well,” Disu said. “But we can’t let our offense dictate our defense. I think that’s what we’ve done the last two games, or we did in the first four minutes of the last game, but then we kind of turned it around and started playing defense with intensity, picking up the ball full court, getting deflections in pick and roll defense, which are things that we didn’t do in the first half tonight.”

While graduate guard Max Abmas saved the Longhorns against TCU on Saturday, he was off his game against the Cyclones, and his dud was a main reason for the loss. Iowa State swarmed him all night, funneling him inside the arc without a plan, baiting him into questionable passes and keeping him from heating up from a distance.

Abmas started to find a rhythm in the second half, finishing with 13 points, but his running mate on the backcourt,Tyrese Hunter, struggled tremendously throughout. The former Iowa State guard’s rough stretch continued as he was held scoreless and passed up on open looks, making a critical turnover in crunch time in an 0-for-8 night.

Despite clawing their way back in the second half, it was a loss that crystallizes what this team is: maddeningly inconsistent and reliant on its two stars to carry them to victory night in and night out. The Longhorns never seemed to make meaningful adjustments to Iowa State’s aggressive defense. Texas found almost zero success in generating looks from the paint and appeared outschemed by the visiting team.

“It’s really critical in the Big 12 that you try to win your home games because of how hard it is on the road to win games,” Terry said. “And our guys understand that. It’s not a lack of effort or guys not wanting to, we’ve just got to find a way to get it done.”

The Longhorns’ desperate search for a third fiddle behind Abmas and Disu continued tonight in a season that is slipping away right in front of them. Sophomore point guard Chendall Weaver continued to make plays that went beyond the box score, but between Ithiel Horton, Kadin Shedrick, Dillon Mitchell, Brock Cunningham and Tyrese Hunter, no one has stepped up as a reliable tertiary option and it has hurt Texas in losses like tonight.

Texas’ NCAA tournament hopes take a hit with this loss as it drops to 4—6 (15—8 overall) in the Big 12. The Longhorns will host West Virginia on Saturday in dire need of a home conference win.

More to Discover