Andrew Jones three-pointer gives Shaka Smart his 100th win as UT head coach

10 Jan By
The Longhorns' 72-70 victory at West Virginia gave Shaka Smart his 100th win as head coach of the Texas men's basketball program (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Junior guard Andrew Jones drilled a three-pointer from the right corner with 1.8 seconds left to help the No. 4/4 Texas rally to a 72-70 victory at No. 14/16 West Virginia Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum. The win was Shaka Smart’s 100th as the Longhorns’ head coach.

The victory improved the Longhorns’ record to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in games against Big 12 teams, while the Mountaineers fell to 9-4 overall, and 2-3 in Big 12 games.

Fellow junior guard Courtney Ramey led both teams with a game-high 19 points. He also pulled down five rebounds and handed out a team-high six assists, one of which set up Jones’s game-winner.

Jones finished with 16 points, freshman forward Greg Brown scored 12 and pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season, senior guard Matt Coleman added 13 points and sophomore forward Kai Jones chipped in with 10. 

Jones also became the 39th player in program history to score 1,000 or more points in his UT career.

The Longhorns trailed, 18-13, after allowing a 10-0 run in the first half, but then reclaimed the lead when Andrew Jones connected on one of his four three-pointers. The advantage was short-lived for the Longhorns, who did not lead again until the game-winning shot with less than two seconds remaining.

The UT defense was far more effective in the second half in the first. Before the intermission, the Mountaineers hit half of their shots from the floor, including 46.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc. But as the Longhorns rallied in the second half, they clamped down on the defensive end. WVU cooled off to 29.4 percent in the second half, converting just 10 of 34 field goals, including only three of 12 three-pointers.

The Longhorns’ 4-0 start against Big 12 foes matches its best since 2010-11, when they won their first 11 games of their conference slate. UT last started a season with wins in 10 of its first 11 games in 2014-15.

Texas has not just padded its record by beating up on a schedule full of pushover opponents. The Horns are 3-1 against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 25.

For Andrew Jones, the game-winning bucket was the second of his career; he also hit the deciding shot when he canned a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left against Oklahoma Jan. 23, 2017.

The Longhorns return to action at 8 p.m. Wednesday when they host Texas Tech in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN2.