For the second time this season, the Texas Longhorns hosted one of the nation’s top teams, and for the second time, Chris Beard’s team came out on top, 72-67.
Here are a few quick thoughts from the action.
That was a pretty damn good game. It started like a heavyweight fight with both teams swinging in an up-tempo matchup, and you could just tell we were in for a good one. You could argue Texas should have won much more convincingly after leading by double digits with just over five minutes remaining, but on the other hand, you could argue the game would have been different had Creighton not shot terribly (4-27) from the perimeter. But in the end, a major matchup between two of the best teams in the country came down to the final seconds, and Texas snuck out with the win. Hard to complain about that.
An aggressive Marcus Carr is a good Marcus Carr. I’ve highlighted the senior a few times already this season, and for good reason. And he was impressive yet in the spotlight again against Creighton. He started cold, going just 1-6 from the field early, but he quickly became a factor offensively. He drilled numerous big-time shots, including a key baseline jumper to give Texas a five-point edge with just over a minute to play and a couple key free throws down the stretch. And now for the fourth game in a row, Carr has recorded a season high in scoring, this time with 19 on a 7-20 shooting performance, in addition to five dimes and five boards.
Texas’ lack of size was a major issue. There aren’t a ton of 7-footers walking around in college basketball, but Texas ran into one on Thursday in Ryan Kalkbrenner and they had absolutely no answer for him. Kalkbrenner missed just one of his 10 shots near or at the rim, and he still recovered his only miss for one of his 13 rebounds. There doesn’t seem to be too many recipes for success against Texas early, but a dominant presence inside certainly seems to be a key.
Arterio Morris might want to stop shooting threes. The five-star freshman has had a few flashes this season, but they haven’t been from deep. Through six games, Morris is just 4-23 from deep, and most of his looks haven’t been particularly close. He’s been engaged defensively and flashed offensively in other ways, but if the three-pointer is in his bag, we can’t tell yet.
Timmy Allen picked an ideal time to show up. After being such a key part of Texas’ success last season, the senior hasn’t quite found his fit with these new-look Longhorns, struggling to find any rhythm or consistency offensively. But on a night when Texas wasn’t collectively its best offensively, his season-high 11 points were all much-needed. Allen added seven boards and four assists to his stat line in a performance that can ideally help him gain some momentum going forward.
Brock “Jorts” Cunningham. Just two points, but they were the two free throws to seal the win. There aren’t too many better ways for Texas to win a game. That is all.