Longhorns Fall Just Short Again

Longhorns Fall Just Short Again

All season long, the Longhorns have put themselves into a position to win late, only to fall short more often than not. And Monday's 60-58 loss at West Virginia was no exception.

The Longhorns were outplayed for much of the game, with the Mountaineers leading 44-33 at the 14:24 mark. But about six minutes and a 16-3 run later, the Longhorns went up two points on a pair of Javan Felix free throws. That Felix was the one to put Texas in the lead was appropriate, as the oft-maligned freshman point scored 10 points over that span while also dishing out an assist, accounting for 12 of the 16 points in the burst.

But Texas is also prone to prolonged cold spells, and after Julien Lewis canned a three-pointer (off yet another Felix assist), giving Texas the lead with 4:37 left, the Longhorns closed the game without another field goal. West Virginia went to a zone trap that frustrated Texas into six missed shots and two turnovers down the stretch.

Yet the Longhorns still had a chance at the end. Down five with less than 20 seconds left, Connor Lammert rebounded a missed Felix three-pointer. Somehow, the ball wound up in Sheldon McClellan's hands, and the Texas sophomore was fouled shooting a three of his own. McClellan missed the first shot and made the second, though that first miss would prove to be a killer. After Aaric Murray went 1-for-2 from the line himself, Texas had the ball down four. And after Lewis missed a three-point attempt, McClellan grabbed the miss and stalked back out to the line, getting fouled on another three-point attempt, this time with under a second left. Instead of needing to make all three free throws to tie — if McClellan had made all three shots the first go-round — Texas needed him to make the first two and miss the third for a tip attempt. He did just that, but Murray grabbed the board to seal the Mountaineer win.

Texas, which was pounded on the glass by the Mountaineers in Austin, won the rebounding battle 36-29 and grabbed 17 offensive boards. That was how the Longhorns stayed in the game, scoring 15 second-chance points to the Mountaineers' three.

The Longhorns had four players in double figures, led by McClellan with a team-high 14 points and eight boards. Felix had 12 points, seven assists and four turnovers. Both he and McClellan had two steals. Lewis scored 10 points and had seven rebounds. Papapetrou started hot and finished with 10.

Deniz Kilicli had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Jabarie Hinds tied for the team and game-high with 14 of his own. Eron Harris added another 13.

The Mountaineers are 11-11 and 4-5 in their inaugural Big 12 season. Texas falls to 10-12 and 2-7, though the Longhorns have just one more game without point guard Myck Kabongo. Texas will take on Oklahoma State for the first time this season at 12:45 CT at the Frank Erwin Center, starting at two-game home stretch.

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