There are a number of explanations for Texas’ excellent efficiency in tight video games this season — maturity, expertise, grit, perception. Regardless of the motive, Texas has are available in clutch in shut sport after shut sport.
On Saturday, it was redshirt junior guard Andrew Jones’s game-winning three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left and the brilliance of junior guard Courtney Ramey that might raise No. 4 Texas over No. 14 West Virginia, 72-70, in WVU Coliseum.
On this present day three years in the past, head coach Shaka Good informed his crew Jones had been recognized with leukemia.
“I don’t know quite a lot of guys that might be capable of do what he did, from the standpoint of scrapping and clawing his means again,” Good mentioned. “The one factor that’s simply so spectacular about Andrew from the start is that after he was recognized, he stored saying, ‘I’m going to come back again and play.’”
Three years after his preliminary prognosis, Jones scored his 1,000th profession level and hit the game-winning three for Texas. He’s the 39th Longhorn to succeed in the thousand-point mark.
However the true MVP of the sport for the Longhorns was Ramey.
Time and time once more, the junior guard willed his solution to the basket. Down the stretch, in Texas’ two most necessary possessions, it was Ramey’s penetration and playmaking that saved the Longhorns. Trailing by three with 1: 28 left and needing a bucket, Ramey made a tricky layup by way of contact, one in every of his many tough finishes across the hoop to cap off a 19-point efficiency on 7-of-11 taking pictures, main all scorers.
“Courtney Ramey doesn’t have a shedding bone in his physique,” Good mentioned. “He’s 100% winner.”
After West Virginia ahead Emmitt Matthews Jr., an 89% free throw shooter coming into Saturday’s sport, missed two consecutive free throws, Ramey took the ball down the courtroom for the play of the sport. He drove into the lane, attracting a number of Mountaineer defenders, earlier than kicking it out to a wide-open Jones.
“My learn as soon as I obtained previous my defender was the low man,” Ramey mentioned. “If he didn’t step over, I had the layup, and he stepped over. I knew Andrew was within the nook, and I imagine in him. I simply needed to put it on the cash for him.”
The move was completely positioned. Jones’s shot rattled residence. And Texas escaped Morgantown with a win after a poor taking pictures evening.
The identical Texas crew that shot Kansas out of the health club final Saturday couldn’t make a three-pointer all sport lengthy, apart from Jones’s 4-of-7 taking pictures efficiency from behind the arc.
The remainder of the Longhorns have been a mixed 0-for-12 from three-point vary. Senior heart Jericho Sims solely had two factors and fouled out in simply 17 minutes. Usually dependable Matt Coleman had his personal points with early foul bother — Good mentioned Coleman was “a step off.”
However regardless of the off days, Texas discovered a solution to win, simply as they’ve all season lengthy. Freshman ahead Greg Brown collected 14 rebounds to as soon as once more lead the Longhorns on the glass. Sophomore ahead Kai Jones stepped up when Sims was in foul bother and sparked Texas’s 12-3 run to even issues up in the course of the second half after the Longhorns had fallen behind by 9 factors.
“This sport was a very good instance of our crew staying collectively and actually responding to some circumstances that weren’t excellent,” Good mentioned. “We missed some pictures that we usually be ok with making … it’s a very good indication simply of our guys hanging in there, staying collectively.”
Texas is 4–0 in Massive 12 convention play for the primary time in Good’s tenure as head coach. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi put Texas as a 1-seed in early brackets for the NCAA event. All the things is trending in the appropriate path for these Longhorns. However, as they discovered tonight, there are not any days off within the gauntlet that’s the Massive 12.
Texas will face one more ranked opponent in No. 18 Texas Tech on Jan. 13.
“It’s a high quality line. We wish our guys to be ok with profitable,” Good mentioned. “However on the similar time, on this league, you bought to show the web page shortly since you obtained one other actually good opponent developing.”