Let me get this straight: Damion James goes 6-20 from the field (0-6 downtown), Connor Atchley misses all 6 of his shots (0-3 downtown), Gary Johnson is limited to 13 minutes with foul trouble... and Texas pulled out the road win in Waco?
Believe it, and with the win Texas moves to 15-4 overall, 4-1 in Big 12 play. AW's got the full game review tomorrow, but this is your postgame thread to chat about the win. A few quick notes on Texas' 78-72 final:
- Dogus Balbay, you're making me look good. Actually, you're making yourself look good. And the team... He was invaluable tonight, as it was clear from the get-go that Baylor's guard quickness was going to make it a tough go for AJ Abrams as a point. Balbay assumed command and ran things beautifully -- only a couple turnovers marring what was overall an MVP performance.
- Before this year began, I expected next to nothing from Varez Ward. After a couple games, I expected a little bit of defense, but not much else. But the kid is a playmaker and, critically, a through-and-through competitor. He's a gamer, he loves to mix it up, and he's never afraid. Another excellent bench effort from him tonight, and... wait for it... 6-6 on his free throws. Brilliant.
- After a sloppy first half, Texas did a great job limiting turnovers (10 on the game). Huge credit to Balbay for settling things down.
- Despite both players having a ridiculously tough time tonight, I thought the game-clincher was the Gary Johnson drive and -- to everyone's surprise -- dish to Damion James for the slam and 74-70 lead with a minute to play.
- Kudos to AJ Abrams for having a clutch game after an unsuccessful run at point early in the contest. His second half shots -- and especially that pull up J to seal the deal -- were a joy to watch.
- My only criticism of the 'Horns was the poor shot selection early in the game, but credit to Barnes for getting things on track in the second half. A huge, very impressive win for him and the Longhorns.