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Texas falls in heartbreaker to Georgia, 57-59

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Foul trouble may have played the biggest role in the Longhorns losing their nine point halftime lead.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns fell to 0-6 on the road this season after dropping to the Georgia Bulldogs 57-59 in the SEC-BIG 12 Challenge. In a low scoring affair for the 30 second shot clock era, the Longhorns couldn’t keep their advantage after amassing a nine-point half-time lead.

Too many times this season Shaka Smart’s squad has fallen in gritty, sloppy games. The Longhorns tied their season average with 14 turnovers; a number not good for a team tied for 234th in the nation in turnovers per game.

Additionally, Texas couldn’t find its three-point groove in the second half, going only 6-20 from behind the arc. On the plus side, Eric Davis Jr. appears to have found his stroke, as the struggling sharp shooter was able to knock down 2-5 attempts from deep to follow up an 18-point effort against Oklahoma. Georgia fared even worse than Texas as a team, going only 2-12 from long range.

But while the Bulldogs did poorly from behind the line, they found points at the free throw line. Georgia hit 17 of a whopping 22 attempts at the stripe, while Texas went 5-9. Georgia’s aggressiveness resulted in foul trouble for the ‘Horns, as all three of Texas’ rotation big men had three fouls with still 13:41 remaining in the second half. Kerwin Roach got into foul trouble, finishing with four.

Shaq Cleare ultimately fouled out with 6:09 remaining, a loss that stung Texas as the senior stepped up eight points on 4-5 shooting.

However, after falling behind by six points with less than three minutes remaining, Smart’s unit clawed back. A strong couple of defensive series ignited by a James Banks block led to a Longhorns surge capped off by a clutch Andrew Jones three. Suddenly Texas was down one.

The game’s most tense moment emerged when the ‘Horns were down two points with 39 seconds remaining and Georgia’s ball. The ‘Horns energetic press caused the Bulldogs to take a time out, as Georgia very nearly suffered a backcourt violation. As the shot clock expired, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier took a jump shot that was tipped in by Derek Ogbeide.

Only it wasn’t. Upon review, Georgia had a shot clock violation, giving Texas eight seconds to get a bucket.

The Longhorns utilized their last chance by throwing the ball inside to star freshman Jarrett Allen. The former McDonald’s All-America had a clean look, but the ball didn’t go down.

Texas is now 8-13 on the season, and it’s beginning to look clearer and clearer that this unit will likely not even receive an NIT bid. The Longhorns basketball program has now lost 19 of its last 28 games dating back to last season.