At the American Airlines Center in Dallas as part of the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge, the No. 7 Texas Longhorns opened up a double-digit lead in the second half and held on to beat the Stanford Cardinal 72-62 for the second consecutive win under acting head coach Rodney Terry.
Texas held Stanford scoreless over the final 2:42 as the Cardinal missed six of their last seven shots to held the Longhorns hold onto the win after a 16-point lead was cut to four.
Despite a slow start, Texas guard Marcus Carr led the way with a game-high 17 points with 15 coming in the second half while forward Timmy Allen added 15 points. Carr, Allen, and guard Tyrese Hunter each had five assists as the Horns shared the ball effectively on the way to 22 assists on 28 made baskets.
In a late-clock situation against a 1-3-1 Stanford zone, a change from their normal man look, Hunter airballed a three and was called for a flopping technical, giving the Cardinal an early 1-0 lead. The zone defense kept the Horns out of the lane early and forced three missed threes to open the game. On the other end, Stanford was equally ineffective before Texas forward Dylan Disu made the first field goal of the game, a three from the left wing. After almost four and a half minutes, the Longhorns finally took their first shot form inside the arc, a runner from Hunter that missed, eventually sending the game into the under-16 timeout with the Cardinal leading 4-3.
After Stanford made two free throws from a foul before the media break, Texas guard Sir’Jabari Smith used his pump fake to knock down a jumper, but then missed a three and an attempted lob to forward Dillon Mitchell as the Horns started 2-of-9 shooting. A three by Stanford extended the lead to 11-5 for the Cardinal. With Texas continuing to settle for threes, Rice banged home the second of the game in transition. A nice bounce pass from guard Brock Cunningham to Disu on the baseline led to a layup and Cunningham’s defense helped force a bad-pass turnover with the score at 11-10 at the under-12 timeout.
Texas took its first lead on a three banged home by Carr for a 7-0 run before the swarming Longhorns defense produced a shot-clock violation. A jumper by Stanford at the 8:33 mark ended a scoreless drought of nearly five minutes and ended the Texas run that was dry for 3:27 at the under-eight timeout.
Multiple drives into the paint for the Horns finally produced a good shot — a reverse layup by Mitchell on a dropoff from Allen following a dribble-drive layup by the Cardinal. A second three of the game from Rice rattled home to give Texas a brief lead quickly taken back by Stanford. Showing a better willingness not to settle for threes, the Longhorns got a jumper from Allen and then a steal that led to a breakout layup and chance for a three-point play he converted at the stripe. Allen subsequently drew a charging foul with a sharp defensive rotation as Texas started to find a better foothold in the game. With the offense running through Allen, the super senior found a cutting Hunter for a layup and then hit a pullup jumper that resulted in another technical for flopping as the Horns led 26-22 at the under-four timeout.
The free throw and a three by Stanford’s Michael Jones tied the game until Hunter found Allen on the break for another three-point play. With the clock ticking under a minute, the Cardinal hit a floater from the baseline and Hunter found Rice on a back-door cut for a layup. Stanford used a timeout to set up a final play with 4.7 seconds remaining in the half, but Rice blocked the shot attempt by Michael Jones as Texas took a 31-28 lead into the break.
Following the poor shooting start for the Longhorns — 2-of-10 to open the game — Texas adjusted to the Stanford zone defense, improving the shot selection, trying to get into the lane off the dribble, and cutting better off the ball. Starting at the 6:57 mark, the Horns hit 6-of-7 shots and ultimately finished the half shooting 48.1 percent despite the cold opening minutes. Notably, Texas shared the ball well, assisting on 11-of-13 made field goals.
Stanford also shot well, hitting at 50 percent overall and 44.4 percent from three, but Texas was able to force 12 turnovers leading to 11 points and had a 12-6 advantage in points in the paint and a 9-2 advantage in fast-break points.
Allen and Rice led the way for the Horns, each scoring 10 points to make up for poor shooting performances by Carr and Hunter, who went a combined 2-of-12 shooting for four points, although Hunter’s floor game was effective with five assists.
Stanford forward Spencer Jones opened the second half with a three from the corner, but Carr responded with a three of his own and Hunter knocked down a catch-and-shoot triple. Hard-nosed defense produced a steal by Carr and a fast-break dunk for Disu, forcing a timeout by the Cardinal thanks to the 8-0 run by the Longhorns.
A Disu jumper and a three by Carr pushed the lead to 11 for Texas as the defense remained at a high level of intensity despite allowing two straight baskets sandwiched around a driving layup by Mitchell, ultimately heading into the under-16 timeout with a 46-37 lead.
Allen’s personal foul before the timeout produced a split trip to the line for the Cardinal before Rice hit a three, his third of the game, and then a pump fake drive ending with a finger roll and an 11-point lead. The layup came after a near shot clock violation by Stanford and the next possession after produced one, then forward Christian Bishop drew a foul on a driving left-handed layup, but couldn’t convert at the line. Following a steal created by Bishop, the Creighton transfer was able to made both of his free-throw attempts as the lead ballooned to 15 points at the under-12 timeout.
Offensively, Texas continued to move the ball well with Hunter benefitting on a corner three as the Horns started the second half 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Stanford hit consecutive threes to cut the Texas lead to eight points, leading to a timeout as the Longhorns went two and a half minutes without scoring thanks to four missed shots while the Cardinal hit five in a row.
Allen drew a foul spinning into a jump shot in the lane, ending the scoring drought by splitting his trip to the line. Pushing the ball after a defensive rebound, Bishop missed a layup and Allen was called for a blocking foul to trigger the under-eight timeout with the Horns leading 59-50, but without a field goal for 3:44.
Stanford missed the front end of a one and one after the break, but Texas couldn’t take advantage as Allen missed a jumper late in the shot clock. A long two by the Cardinal further cut into the lead before Mitchell missed two good chances close to the rim. Then a dribble drive produced a layup and a foul that made it a four-point game on the three-point play. Carr finally ended the 13-1 run by Stanford on a jumper in the lane that came after two offensive rebounds. With a chance to extend the lead again, Rice had a three rim out on a good pass from Cunningham, who committed a foul on the other end, but paid for it with only one point. On a drive by Carr, Allen cut for a layup and then Carr hit a late-clock jumper from the corner, a really important basket for an eight-point lead as the clock ticked under four minutes. Another foul on Cunningham sent the game into the under-four timeout with Texas leading 65-57.
After Stanford split its free throw again, Allen hit a leaning jumper and Carr hit a jumper two sandwiched around a basket by the Cardinal. With a seven-point lead, Allen had a big block at the rim and Carr drew a foul in the open court, hitting both free throws with 53 seconds remaining. Stanford was slow fouling after Texas secured a defensive rebound, sending Carr back to the line with the game effectively over.