AUSTIN (KXAN) — A historic day from the foul line and tremendous defense lifted the No, 5 Texas Longhorns to a blowout 94-60 win over West Virginia on Saturday at Moody Center.
The Longhorns set a program record for most consecutive made foul shots in a game with 24 and ended the game 24-for-25 from the stripe. The last time Texas shot free throws that well was against Davidson in 1968. It was the largest margin of victory over the Mountaineers in series history.
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“We had really good carryover from the past two days of practice, and we beat a team that’s been playing really well,” Longhorns head coach Rodney Terry said. “We got back from the Kansas game and addressed a few things. We took care of the basketball better in the first half, and I thought we did a great job doing that.”
The sharp foul shooting and smothering defense by the Longhorns led to their largest margin of victory in Big 12 Conference play this season. Texas forced 20 turnovers and scored 32 points off of them while committing six turnovers.
Not only did the Longhorns shoot great from the foul line, but they were also good from beyond the 3-point arc. Texas shot 10-for-17 from long range led by Jabari Rice. Rice finished 4-for-5 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 24 points. Rice was also perfect from the foul line at 10-for-10.
Terry said when the coaching staff was recruiting Rice in the transfer portal, they were in lockstep with one another, and Rice said he’d do whatever it takes to help the team.
“He’s had that attitude the whole time he’s been here, and it has shown on the court,” Terry said. “Without a doubt, he’s the best sixth man in the country.”
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said his team wasn’t ready for how physical Texas played, and the Longhorns held WVU’s leading scorer Erik Stevenson to just three points.
“They made shots, and we turned the ball over,” Huggins said, keeping his responses brief in the postgame press conference. “We didn’t make shots.”
When asked if he talked to the officials about how physical the game was, Huggins said they “don’t listen very well.”
“It’s an exercise in futility to try to speak with them,” he continued. West Virginia was whistled for 21 fouls while Texas committed 19.
Marcus Carr finished with 16 points 7-for-11 shooting, Timmy Allen chipped in 14 points with nine rebounds and Arterio Morris had 10 points in 20 minutes of playing time. With a midrange jumper in the first half like he’s made all season, Allen went over 2,000 points in his career at Texas
“It’s a testament to the journey in staying healthy and being productive,” Allen said. “Everyone was making shots and we were sharing the sugar.”
The Longhorns scored 32 points off the Mountaineers’ turnovers and had a 28-12 advantage in points in the paint. Although Texas was outrebounded 38-35 by West Virginia, it didn’t matter much as the Longhorns scored on 42 of their 69 possessions. The Mountaineers scored on 27 of 69 possessions with a 29% turnover rate.
“You always want to come out in this league and get teams off their spots,” Allen said. “The aggressive team usually comes out on top.”
Texas (20-5, 9-3 Big 12 Conference) now has 34 20-win seasons in school history. It’s a quick turnaround for the Longhorns as they head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech on Monday.