Under interim head coach Rodney Terry, the No. 10 Texas Longhorns are quickly becoming comeback specialists, overcoming another slow start and significant halftime deficit in a 72-70 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday at the Moody Center, the second straight big comeback from the Longhorns.
Guards Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice were the second-half stars for Texas after going into halftime down 34-25. After forward Timmy Allen scored the first five points for the Horns in the second half, Carr hit two threes in a stretch that included nine of 11 points notched by the fifth-year senior before settling into a playmaking role late, finding guard Brock Cunningham for a big three to go up five points with 1:07 remaining and then dishing to Allen in transition for a layup that turned into three-point play.
Rice followed Carr’s surge early in the second half with a fast-break three to tie the game at 44-44, then helped put it away at the free-throw line as Texas held on late by hitting 5-of-6 shots from the charity stripe.
Carr finished with 20 points, Rice added 17 points, and Allen poured in 17 points to pace the Longhorns as no one else scored more than the seven points from forward Christian Bishop.
The first half looked similar to the comeback win over No. 17 TCU on Wednesday as Texas struggled shooting to open the game, particularly from beyond the arc, making only 34.6 percent from the field overall and 2-of-13 from three as Carr and guard Tyrese Hunter combined to make 2-of-10 shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Texas Tech was much more efficient, owning an 18-8 advantage in points in the paint and taking advantage of three threes from guard Pop Isaacs to lead by as many as 12 points.
But the Red Raiders couldn’t maintain the pace as the Longhorns increased their defensive intensity in the second half, shooting only 34.5 percent and turning the ball over eight times.
Now 15-2 and 4-1 in conference play, Texas travels to Ames to face No. 14 Iowa State on Tuesday.