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February 22, 2014
UT needs to regroup after 85-54 demolition by Kansas
Would you believe Texas was the better team for the first five minutes of Saturday night's 85-54 demolition by the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse?
Hard to believe Texas led 8-3 after 5 minutes. But then, of all things, Demarcus Holland leaving the game (and his sticky man-to-man defense on Andrew Wiggins) and Texas going zone triggered an offensive onslaught from Wiggins that UT never recovered from.
Wiggins didn't score until the 14:20 mark of the first half, but once he hit that first 3 against UT's zone, he couldn't miss, helping to ignite a 25-2 run that included 15 points from Wiggins, who was 3-of-3 from long range in that stretch.
By halftime, Kansas had built a 46-18 lead, and Rick Barnes had the makings of the worst performance from his guards all season. It ended up as UT's worst loss since a 97-66 demolition by Duke in 2005.
UT's guards finished 6 of 37 shooting (16 percent) with Isaiah Taylor going a staggering 1-of-14 from the floor.
Taylor told reporters after the waxing: "Teams are starting to respect us. We're not sneaking up on them anymore."
Added Rick Barnes: "We're not the team we were two weeks ago."
In an 81-69 victory by Texas over Kansas in Austin on Feb. 1, Taylor hit his first three shots, including a 3, and the Horns opened 5-of-6 shooting, while Andrew Wiggins opened 0-of-7 and finished 2-of-12 en route to 7 points.
In a complete role reversal from that game, Wiggins opened 5-of-6 shooting Saturday night, including 3-of-3 from 3 and had 15 points by the 8-minute mark of the first half.
Meanwhile, Taylor missed his first 11 shots and didn't connect on a FG until he hit a driving layup with 16:10 left in the game, cutting KU's lead to 24 points (49-25).
Honestly, Taylor's 1-of-14 shooting night had to be a jolt to his teammates simply because the guy has been so good the last seven games.
In that 7-game stretch, Texas went 5-2 and Taylor averaged 19.1 ppg on 45.3 percent shooting, scoring 27 at Baylor (W); 23 vs Kansas (W); 11 at TCU (W); 17 at KSU (L); 16 vs OSU (W); 14 vs WVU (W); and 26 at Iowa State (L).
Taylor finished with just 5 points at Kansas Saturday night along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 turnovers and 1 steal. Wiggins finished with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting for KU.
Connor Lammert's 3-pointer with 4:51 left in the first half ended an 8-minute scoring drought for the Longhorns, but it hardly made a dent in Kansas' 30-13 lead at that point.
The damage had been done.
In the end, the lowlights for Texas also included 12 turnovers that KU turned into 15 points. Meanwhile, Texas was only able to generate 1 point off of KU's 7 turnovers.
Kansas coach Bill Self said after his team's loss in Austin that "Texas was the hungrier team." He added that he expected the Jayhawks to be the "hungrier team" in Lawrence.
That was certainly the case as KU outscored UT 26-0 in fast-break points. A couple of those baskets came on dunks by backup F Tarik Black, who posterized Cam Ridley with about 5 minutes left in the game, prompting a wild, hands-over-mouths celebration by Kansas starters on the bench.
But if not for Jonathan Holmes, who had 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting; Ridley (11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks); and Connor Lammert, who had 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting, it would have been even worse.
The Longhorns' night could also be summed up from the FT line, where UT went 8-of-19.
UP NEXT: Baylor, 8 pm CT Wednesday, Frank Erwin Center, ESPNU
The Bears have won 5 of their last 7, including four straight. Those wins include a sweep of Oklahoma State, a home win over Kansas State and road win Saturday at West Virginia.
Texas needs to regroup in a hurry. Losing back-to-back games on the road at Iowa State and Kansas (two locks for the NCAA Tournament) was probably expected. But it's the WAY Texas lost them: completely out of sync and impatient at ISU and completely lacking the confidence and composure required to win at Allen Fieldhouse.