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Texas toppled by Colorado 68-54 in Legends Classic

Back-to-back bad performances by the ‘Horns.

NCAA Basketball: Legends Classic-Texas vs Colorado Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in 24 hours, the Texas Longhorns fell short in a match up that wasn’t particularly close throughout; this time to the Colorado Buffaloes.

An Eric Davis jumper opened the mid-day action to give Texas a 2-0 lead, but Colorado immediately jumped ahead and never looked back en route to a 68-54 victory to secure a third place finish in the Legends Classic.

Texas tested Colorado down the stretch, trimming what was a double-digit lead for the majority of the game to just five points with 3:29 remaining in the game. Only a minute later, though, the lead was back to 10 (63-53) and the final outcome was essentially decided.

For Texas, the story behind yet another double-digit defeat is simple — far more turnovers than assists and domination by the oppontent on the glass.

After 40 minutes, Texas had compiled only three assists compared to 12 turnovers, while losing the rebounding battle 43 to 32.

Kerwin Roach Jr. and Jarrett Allen did their part offensively, adding 16 and 15 points, respectively, but no other Longhorn scored more than eight points, which came by way of a 3-for-8 effort from Shaquille Cleare. As a unit, Texas shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field and only hit 3-of-17 heaves from the perimeter.

Defensively, Colorado essentially took whatever it wanted and then some.

To begin the second half, as Texas looked to close the gap, Colorado connected on five of its first six shots, with the lone miss turning into an offensive rebound and a layup.

Derrick White, George King and Josh Fortune led the way for the Buffs, each scoring in double figures and collectively totaling 39 points. Nine different Buffaloes joined the scoring column and many of Colorado’s points came around the rim with relative ease, which was aided by Texas having only two available big men with James Banks forced to sit following a Flagrant 2 ejection against Northwestern.

Tuesday afternoon’s meeting watch Colorado was the second example in as many days that this Texas team has plenty of work in the months ahead.

When faced with above average competition, Texas struggles offensively — largely due to horrid perimeter shooting and a lack of pure point guard play — and is often overmatched and out of place defensively.

As a result, the weaknesses many feared Texas possessed entering the season became clearly evident in Brooklyn and the result was two losses by a combined 33 points.

There are bright spots for Shaka Smart and his staff to build upon going forward — Allen’s offense, Roach attacking the rim, and Tevin Mack’s sharpshooting aside from Tuesday — but equally as evident are the glaring weaknesses.

The ‘Horns will get a week off before looking to bounce back next Tuesday against UT-Arlington, followed by meetings with Alabama and a road match up with No. 25 Michigan.

It’s time for Texas to grow up quickly — Big 12 play will be especially cruel to Texas if the current mishaps continue.