Sometimes basketball is poetry. Other times, it is two hobos striking each other with clods of dirt, fighting over the last piece of bologna.
No one would confuse tonight's 59-27 victory by Texas over the Texas State Bobcats with poetry.
At the first official TV timeout, the score was 5-3 in favor of the Longhorns. Four minutes later, at the second commercial break, it was 8-3. The Longhorns first broke double digits on a Demarcus Holland three with 8:42 left in the first half, while the Bobcats didn't crack ten points until 90 seconds into the second half.
So let's talk about the defense. For Texas, the D has been terrific all season long, and most opponents just aren't going to score against the Horns without some exceptional three point shooting. The Bobcats were not exceptional from three, going 2-12 from deep.
Texas State coach Danny Kaspar has made a career of taking undersized teams and turning them into some of the best defenses in all of college basketball. This is not an exaggeration -- his last Steven F. Austin squad had a top 10 D-I defense while playing a 6-6 center. Through the first half, Kaspar's Bobcats put the Texas offense in a blender and made a smooth, smooth puree. Taking away all easy ball reversal, while giving up little else, the Bobcats forced 19 Texas turnovers in a 58 possession game.
The Texas offense showed a little more life in the second half, pulling away from the Bobcats before the first television timeout. Center Cameron Ridley led the Texas offense, scoring 14 points on 6-9 shooting. Ridley was able to get the sort of deep post touches in the paint that he needs to thrive. Ridley did struggle with turnovers, but that didn't really set him apart from any of the other Longhorns.
Javan Felix played quite well, scoring 10 efficient points in 24 minutes, including 2-2 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Longhorns were 6-13 from the three point line, and hit 55 percent of their shots from the floor. In the two out of every three possessions that didn't end in a turnover, Texas did fine.
Texas' defense was absolutely impenetrable, although surely aided by the shooting struggles of its opponent. Even in a low 58 possession game, only allowing 27 points is really something. The Longhorns are just too big to give up many points to a team that isn't shooting the three well.
Texas State's best player Emani Gant was limited to six points after picking up two quick fouls. The Bobcat's leading score on the night was Cameron Naylor, who had eight points, and only six Bobcats scored.
Onward and upward, I guess. Texas' next game is Tuesday against the Lipscomb Bisons.