No. 13 Texas will look to shrug off a disappointing home loss and get back on the winning track when it squares off against Texas State on Wednesday in Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns (4-1) fell to No. 12 Villanova 68-64 on Sunday in a game Texas never led in the second half. The setback was the first of the year for the Longhorns after winning the relocated Maui Invitational last week with victories over Davidson, Indiana and North Carolina.
Texas climbed from 17th to 13th (tied with Wisconsin) in this week’s Associated Press poll despite Sunday’s loss.
The Bobcats (3-1) come into the game on the heels of a 72-64 win over Incarnate Word on Saturday. Texas State’s lone loss this season has been to the only other Power 5 team it has faced, a 17-point defeat at Mississippi State on Nov. 30.
Texas led by as many as seven points in the first half against Villanova and trailed by just two at halftime. The Longhorns fought back and tied the game at 57-57 on a Courtney Ramey 3-pointer with 2:33 left before Villanova answered with a five-point run. Texas clawed within two points on three occasions in the final minute but could not get closer.
Ramey and Matt Coleman III each had 17 points to pace the Longhorns. Ramey was 7 of 11 from the floor while Coleman hit 7 of his 15 field goal attempts and scored 11 straight points for the Longhorns in the first half when they build their lead.
Texas outshot Villanova 45 percent to 42.9 percent in a game that was virtually even statistically except for free throws — Villanova was 14 of 19 from the charity stripe while Texas was only 3 of 6.
The Longhorns took the loss hard, but were buoyed by the lessons they will learn in defeat.
“Sometimes when you lose a game, it certainly exposes certain areas where you need to get better even more so than if you would have won,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “We need to continue to get better at our response during games where it’s going to be less than perfect.”
The Bobcats will take the short drive up Interstate 35 with a modicum of momentum after Shelby Adams turned in a season-high 15 points to help Texas State hold off feisty Incarnate Word. The Bobcats trailed by two points at the half but picked up their defensive intensity and held UIW to just 2 of 11 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half.
Texas State registered a season-high seven blocked shots and tied a season-best with six made 3-pointers. Marlin Davis added a season-high 12 points in the win, while Mason Harrell and Nighael Ceaser scored 10. Isiah Small took 10 rebounds for the Bobcats.
“It’s really, really difficult trying to figure out exactly what the team needs and when they need it,” Texas State coach Terrance Johnson said. “This was the ultimate trap game. You know, you’re sandwiched between an SEC team, and a Big 12 team (in Texas), arguably one of the hottest teams in the country right now. The biggest thing about these millennials is getting them to focus on exactly what’s going on right now.”
Texas and Texas State have played 11 times previously, all of them in Austin and each one a win by the Longhorns. The most recent meeting was in December 2014 when Texas won 59-27.
–Field Level Media