FORT WORTH, Texas (KXAN) — This felt like a big night to fight for the season. The Texas Longhorns traveled to TCU Tuesday with a winnable game against the Horned Frogs, and a massively daunting slate of games to follow.
After the Fort Worth road trip, Texas will play five straight ranked opponents, starting with Rick Barnes’ No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers Saturday night. Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and Baylor are ahead after the Big 12-SEC showdown.
Texas couldn’t afford to lose this game and fall to .500 in the conference. They didn’t falter. Texas came out and set the tone, shutting down a lively environment of Longhorns haters at Schollmaier Arena for a 73-50 win. TCU fans entered the arena Tuesday with a purpose, and Texas appeared to feed off the crowd.
Timmy Allen is becoming the clear leader for UT. He led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, scoring 10 of Texas’ first 16 points.
Courtney Ramey, Andrew Jones and Marcus Carr each finished the game in double figures. Next, Texas hosts Tennessee in an all-UT, primetime showdown at 7 p.m. Saturday. You can watch the game on ESPN.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Longhorns dismantled the Horned Frogs.
Thriving off the hostile crowd
Austin American-Statesman reporter Brian Davis said the TCU fans set the tone for the night, chanting “(expletive) UT” as the Longhorns entered the court. Texas didn’t back down from the fight with Allen leading the way. UT built a 10-point lead at the 10-minute mark of the first half.
The Longhorns turned the game into a rout, taking a 20-point lead into halftime. TCU went over eight minutes without a basket, scoring on its final, full possession of the half. By then, the damage was already done.
Brock Cunningham’s best game
This video explains what Cunningham means to Texas basketball. The former Westlake Chaparral is known for defense, and he did that Tuesday night. He also was critical in Texas’ domination on the offensive glass. Cunningham had five offensive rebounds, leading to seven second-chance points. The forward scored on back-to-back possessions for his only four points of the night.
It was clear Chris Beard wanted to get his team ready for hostile road environments. Even leading by 21 points late in the game, Beard kept three of his five starters on the floor to finish the game. Ramey hit a mid-range jumper as time expired for the 23-point win.
The Longhorns will head to Lubbock next Tuesday for the most intense environment of the season as Beard makes his first appearance at Texas Tech since he left the school for UT. It’s the most-anticipated game of the season for the Red Raider faithful, and Texas will have to match that intensity. Tuesday night’s performance was a strong start.