Although this Texas basketball team should have been undefeated coming in to today, after letting two wins slip away in New Jersey Saturday afternoon's match up against Temple was a huge game for the Longhorns' non-conference resume. It didn't look very good in the early going as Temple opened up an 8 point lead and led the Longhorns by 3 at intermission, but Texas came roaring to life in the second half, rallying with a 17-5 run midway through the half to open up a 9 point lead. Texas extended that lead to 16 with a minute left and wound up picking up an impressive and important 77-65 win, improving to 9-2 with their seventh straight victory.
If you'd told me before the game Texas would shoot 2-17 from downtown while Temple made 9 of 18, I would have figured we'd be on the losing end, but we did a terrific job making adjustments in the second half that completely changed the dyanmic of the game. J'Covan Brown led the way with 23 points, including three buckets that just made you shake your head in amazement ("Did he really just make that?"), while Myck Kabongo followed up a forgettable first half with yet another brilliant second half that turned the game. If he ever starts playing that well from the opening tip, opponents are going to be in big trouble.
I noted in my preview of the game that "we have the two best guards in this game, a deeper and better frontcourt, and home court," and that was pretty much the story. J'Bongo combined for 41 points, we dominated the Owls on the glass 48-23, and both Clint Chapman (7 points, 13 boards, 2 blocks) and Jaylen Bond (12 points, 8 boards, 1 steal) played fantastic basketball in the second half that helped spark our rally.
I've got some Christmas parties to attend this evening that I need to get ready for, but I'll have much more on this game and individual performances in tomorrow's Texas Basketball Report.
Congrats to this young Texas basketball team on picking up a huge win against the best team we've faced to date.