AUSTIN, Texas — No. 10 Texas holds off Texas Tech 72-70 in a genuine fight that could have gone either way. Marcus Carr, Jabari Rice, and Timmy Allen banded together for 55 of the 72 points. The Moody Center was sold out again which is not a surprise considering the fan experience.
Texas came out in the first half and played what looked like schoolyard pickup basketball with TCU tossing them around, manhandling, and roughing Texas up. Texas scored first to take the lead 2-0 and for the rest of the half was over powered Going into the locker at halftime, Texas had only 25 points and shot 35.3%, and hit 7-12 of their layups.
With 12:37 on the clock in the second half, Jabari Rice stepped out and put on his Marvel suit then hit a three-pointer that tied the game. Almost a minute later Rice was fouled and made both to put Texas up. Rice scored eight of the 10 times going to the foul line and ended the night in double digits with 18 points, two rebounds, steals, and blocks.
Marcus Carr led the team with 20 points of which 12 points came from came from four three-pointers he made on 13 attempts. Carr demonstrated his basketball IQ and trust in his team when with just over one-minute left in the game, Carr dribbles the ball up the court, Texas up by only two points at this point and it appeared Carr would be taking the next shot, likely a three-pointer.
Carr draws two Texas Tech players focused on stopping him to the left side. Brock Cunningham sees this, zags up to the three-point line where Carr usually shoots and makes most of his, Carr passes Cunningham the ball. With his feet planted, Cunningham shoots and makes the three-pointer to send Texas up by five — keeping the momentum alive for Texas and crowd on their feet..
Coach Terry in the postgame press conference said of Marcus Carr when we asked about the play that Carr passed to Cunningham, “We know Brock puts a lot of time on his shooting. I think over the course of the season you can see … how Marcus Carr really evolved into trusting [his] teammates. Early in the year he probably would have taken that shot … being a smart IQ player there and trusting his teammate, knowing that Brock’s gonna knock that shot down, that Brock has his feet set, he’s going to knock that shot down … Marcus over the course of this season really buying into ‘trusting your teammates in big moments’ and that was a big moment.”
Texas over the past couple games could be labeled a second-half team, to which Marcus Carr refuted when asked about it during post game saying, “No I would not say we are a second half team. Obviously, we are not trying to get off to a bad start. It is just something we are going to have to work on going forward.”
Texas is now 15-2 and 4-1 in Big 12 Conference play. Texas will travel to Ames, Iowa for their next Big 12 matchup on Jan. 17 (TUE) against Iowa State.