LONGHORN MEN'S BASKETBALL

 

Five players score in double figures as No. 19/19 Men's Basketball tops West Virginia

Five players score in double figures as No. 19/19 Men's Basketball tops West Virginia

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Javan Felix scored 18 points and No. 19 Texas used another impressive offensive performance to beat West Virginia 88-71 on Saturday night, a victory that kept the Longhorns within a game of the Big 12 lead.

 

Texas (20-5, 9-3) put five players in double figures and shot better than 60 percent for most of the game.

 

Cameron Ridley scored 17 points and was a force on defense with three of Texas' five blocks, including two in the final minute of the first half. Jonathan Holmes, the Longhorns' leading scorer, had 11 in his return after missing a game with a knee injury.

 

Eron Harris scored 21 points for West Virginia (15-11, 7-6), which had surged up the league standings by winning four of five.

 

Texas also reached 20 wins for the 14th time in 16 seasons under coach Rick Barnes. This might have been the most significant, though, considering the Longhorns' dramatic turnaround from last season's 16-18 finish that left Texas out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years.

 

And by beating West Virginia, the Longhorns stayed just a game behind conference leader Kansas, with games against Iowa State and the Jayhawks next week.

 

Texas shot 61 percent in the first half, and Felix and Holmes both had 10 points by halftime. Texas' final shooting mark of 58 percent was just below the school record of 59 percent for a Big 12 game.

 

But even with those offensive fireworks, Texas controlled the game early behind a defense that created steals on the perimeter and all but locked down the lane behind Ridley's big body.

 

Demarcus Holland, who blew a layup off a turnover in the opening seconds, converted two layups off steals in a 17-2 Texas run that put the Longhorns up 28-16 when Felix made his first 3-pointers.

 

West Virginia fought to stay within 10, but Ridley's two blocks in the final 30 seconds sent the Longhorns into the break leading by 11.

 

Harris scored 12 in the half and Terry Henderson had 10 for the Mountaineers to keep the game from turning into a rout early.

 

West Virginia showed a hint of a rally when the Mountaineers scored five straight points to start the second half. A 3-pointer by Harris trimmed the Texas lead to six before the Longhorns responded with an 8-0 run.

 

Felix made another 3-pointer and Prince Ibeh had two dunks, both coming on quick catch-and-jumps that left his defender flat-footed, to put the Longhorns ahead 61-46 with 12:14 to play.

 

POSTGAME NOTES

 

TEAM
• Texas improves to 20-5 and 9-3 in Big 12 Conference play … this is the 14th time in 16 years under head coach Rick Barnes that Texas has secured a 20-win season.

• UT is off to its best 25-game start (20-5) to a season since 2010-11 (started 22-3). It marks the seventh time in the Rick Barnes era (last 16 years) that the Horns have opened the year with at least 20 wins in their first 25 contests (22-3 in 2005-06, 2010-11; 21-4 in 2003-04, 2007-08; 20-5 in 2002-03, 2009-10).

• Texas is now 4-3 all-time against West Virginia. The 19-point margin of victory was the largest in the all-time series. The previous was an 11-point margin of victory (Texas won 80-69 at West Virginia on Jan. 9, 2013).

• UT posted a 41-26 advantage on the glass. Texas has outrebounded 20 of its first 25 opponents and is 17-3 in those games.

• UT set a season high in FG percentage (.579, 33-of-57). This topped the previous mark of 52.7% (29-of-55) set at West Virginia (Jan. 13).

• Texas shot 60.7% (17-of-28) from the field in the first half for its highest FG% in a first half this year. It is the second-highest FG% in a half this season, as UT hit 68.2% (15-of-22) from the floor in the second half against Stephen F. Austin (Nov. 15).

• Texas shot 60.7% (17-of-28) from the field in the first half for its highest FG% in a first half this year. It is the second-highest FG% in a half this season, as UT hit 68.2% (15-of-22) from the floor in the second half against Stephen F. Austin (Nov. 15).

• UT has shot 50% or better from the field in each half this year against West Virginia. At WVU on Jan. 13, the Horns shot 16-of-32 (.500) in the first half and 13-of-23 (.565) in the second half. Tonight, Texas shot 17-of-28 (.607) in the first half and 16-of-29 (.552) in the second half.

• Texas matched a season high in assists with 18.

• The Longhorns outscored West Virginia 46-14 in the paint, matching the largest differential (+32) of the season (vs. South Alabama, 42-10). The 46 points in the paint also tied a season high (46 vs. DePaul on Nov. 26). The 46 points were a season high in Big 12 play (42 vs. Oklahoma on Jan. 4).

• The Horns held the Mountaineers to 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the field. Texas is 16-0 when holding opponents under 40 percent from the floor this year.

• Texas had five players in double figures for the fifth time this year and second time in Big 12 play (vs. SFA, vs. BYU, vs. DePaul, and vs. Oklahoma State).

 

INDIVIDUAL

Javan Felix

• Reached double figures in scoring (18 points) for the 16th time this season and 25th time in his career (58 games).

• Over the last two games, Felix is averaging 22.5 ppg (16-of-30 FG, 10-of-18 3FG) in 31.5 minutes per game.

 

Demarcus Holland

• Reached double figures in scoring (11 points) for the seventh time this season and 10th time in his career (59 games).

• First game in double-figure scoring since 10 points at Oklahoma State (Jan. 8) – a span of 11 games.

• Matched a career high in assists with seven

 

Jonathan Holmes

• Reached double figures in scoring (11 points) for the 18th time this season and 36th time in his career (86 games).

 

Connor Lammert

• Finished with a team-high eight rebounds

• Over the last four games, Lammert is averaging 7.3 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game.

 

Cameron Ridley

• Reached double figures in scoring (17 points) for the 14th time this season and 16th time in his career (58 games).

• Matched a season high with two assists.

 

Isaiah Taylor

• Reached double figures in scoring (14 points) for the sixth straight game and 20th time this year (25 games).

• Over the last six games, Taylor is averaging 18.0 ppg (35-of-75 FG, 37-of-40 FT) in 32.8 mpg

 

Martez Walker

• Set a career high in rebounds with seven.

 

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

 

Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes

On Texas' defense: It was really a team effort in the fact that we felt our transition defense had to get all five guys back because he (Juwan Staten) is such a terrific open-court player. Look at the numbers, I don't know if there is another player in the country that is more efficient, more effective and we knew that having five guys back would help in transition. We fouled some 3-point shooters and that goes back to how we really weren't trying to run those guys off the line. We were getting too close, running into them and we gave them 12 points, or something like that, off fouling 3-point shooters. Overall, the defense might be as well as we've played defense all year. Really good effort there. Offensively, we really moved the ball, shared the ball. To get 18 assists means you're really keeping the ball popping.

 

On fouling four shots beyond the arc: Yeah, I have to take the blame for it because we knew they could shoot it – they dropped 102 points the other night and can shoot it from the perimeter. Again, you've got to give Juwan (Staten) a lot of credit for that too because of all the attention we were trying to give him. I should have stressed more to run them off the line as opposed to running to them. That was all effort plays and we just got too close. I don't want to foul three-point shooters but I do like the effort that we made trying to be engaged based on what we were trying to get done.

 

On Texas' engagement in this game: Today we came in and we were maybe as engaged as we've ever been. It was fun watching what they did at full speed. I thought we did a lot of good things – the things we talked about in the game plan. We moved the ball. We really had good ball movement.

 

Texas Players

 

Junior F Jonathan Holmes

On if he felt okay tonight and how big of a scare the knee injury was last week: Last week I was kind of scared, but it wasn't as serious that I thought it was. Tonight it was good, so we'll see how it holds up.

 

On how big was this game: If you're trying to win a Big 12 Championship, you have to win all your home games because the ones on the road are so tough and we know that. So we knew that this week was going to be very big in us moving forward because next week we are playing at Iowa State and Kansas.

 

On if he was playing at 100 percent: If anything I wouldn't say 100 percent because I wasn't in the best of shape, wasn't where I was before injury because I had a week off, but the knee didn't hurt too much. I was a little winded, but after getting some practice time in this week I'll be ready to go.

 

Sophomore C Cameron Ridley

On what part of the game he enjoys the most, blocking shots or dunking the ball: Really both. When I dunk or block a shot, I mean, it gets the crowd into it and it gets the team pumped up and it gives us an edge on offense and defense because the adrenaline starts pumping.

 

On if he felt if this team was playing any different tonight: We are all playing for each other. We are playing for the Big 12 Championship and everyone on the team has the same goals, just to win games, not to think selfishly.

 

Sophomore G Demarcus Holland

On if he thought this was the best they had moved the ball on offense all year: I think it's one of the best games we've had moving the ball.

 

On why that was tonight: They dropped back into a 1-3-1 zone and they were trying to slow us down from using our speed and Coach Barnes said the only way we were going to slow ourselves down was by dribbling. So he really emphasized us passing the ball at practice the day before and we came out and executed.

 

On what was the plan against WVU's Juwan Staten: You've got to get all five guys ahead of the ball line and you have to stop them in transition because that's when he gets a lot of drive and kicks for 3-pointers. That's what they've been doing very well lately, shooting threes and once he gets in the lane, he is pretty deadly.

 

On how it feels to have NBA players come back: It makes us feel good that we had guys like that come through this program and we feel great to get a win like this in front of them and I know they really appreciate it.

 

West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins

On West Virginia's performance tonight: We missed some shots. We did not respond the way we needed to respond. We couldn't or wouldn't guard, you cannot let people shoot that well when you are not making any shots.

 

On what West Virginia needs to improve on: We have to be more resilient. When things do not go your way you don't stop playing, you play harder.

 

On what he likes about Texas basketball: They win, that is what this game is about. You have to put the ball in the goal more than the other team does.

 

courtesy of texassports.com

 

More Articles

 

AM 1300 THE ZONE is an iHeartRadio Station

© 2014 Clear Channel Media and Entertainment

*