No. 15 Texas will look to get healthy and back on the winning track when it hosts Wyoming on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns (4-1) return home after splitting a pair of games in the Empire Classic in New York. Texas beat Louisville 81-80 on Sunday with a buzzer-beating shot by Max Abmas, while getting 27 points from Kadin Shedrick. On Monday, the Longhorns lost 81-71 to No. 5 UConn.
“You look back on games like this, and it shows the true you,” Abmas said. “If you’re able to stay together and come out with a victory, that will help us in the Big 12.”
Texas trailed by 16 points midway through the first half by 13 at halftime in the loss to UConn. The Longhorns steadily battled back, whittling their deficit to four points at one point and trailed 75-69 after Tyrese Hunter’s dunk with 3:39 to remaining. But a clutch 3-pointer and late free throws by the defending national champion held the Longhorns at bay and gave Texas its first loss of the season.
Dillon Mitchell scored a career-high 21 points in the setback while Hunter had 13, Ithiel Horton added 11 and Abmas tallied 10. Shedrick was held out with what a team spokesman labeled as a “precaution” as he continues to recover from surgery on both shoulders.
“Early in the year, you’re really trying to get your team to understand how to win and what it takes to win,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said after Monday’s loss. “And over these two days, back to back, we really grew up in those areas. We grew up in an area of taking care of the basketball, too, and not beating ourselves.
“There’s a high ceiling for this group. Once we get everybody out there on the floor playing together, it’s going be a pretty deep and pretty good team.”
The Cowboys (4-1) head to Austin after winning two of three games in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Wyoming dropped its first game in the tournament to Saint Louis before rallying to capture the consolation championship with victories over College of Charleston and Furman.
“In the last couple of games we did a really good job of getting the ball to move, which you really see in terms of our 3-point shooting when you go 12-for-25,” Wyoming coach Jeff Linder said after the 78-71 win over Furman on Nov. 19. “I’m just really proud of the effort, proud of our guys. Just a really good group of kids that show up every day, allow us to coach them and play really hard.”
Sam Griffin scored a season-high 26 points while Akuel Kot added 20, Caden Powell had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Brendan Wenzel also pitched in 13 points.
Sunday’s game is the first between Texas and Wyoming since 1949 and the first time the teams have played in Austin after three previous neutral court contests.
–Field Level Media