AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart didn’t want to tell his team Tuesday’s game felt like a “must-win,” but it was.
The Longhorns earned a Big 12 regular season sweep of Kansas, rallying from a 14-point first half deficit for a 75-72 overtime win in the home finale from the Frank Erwin Center. Texas’ regular season is far from over with a daunting four-game road trip ahead over the next week and a half.
Courtney Ramey hit two free throws in the final minute of overtime to give Texas a one-point lead. Ramey finished with 15 points. Matt Coleman added another free throw for a 74-72 lead.
Kansas’ Jalen Wilson had a chance to tie the game, but he lost the ball while driving for a wide open layup with six seconds remaining.
The Longhorns were shellshocked by a 23-4 Kansas run in the first half. Texas failed to get quality looks around the basket while turning the ball over 10 times. Texas trailed 43-32 at halftime.
Andrew Jones’ 3-pointer with 9:10 to go in the game gave Texas its first lead since the 12 minute mark of the first half.
The Longhorns were off shooting throughout the night, finishing the game at 37% from the field. They turned the game around in the final 20 minutes with rebounding and defense. The Longhorns held the Jayhawks to 23 points in the second half.
The next 11 days are pivotal as Texas builds up toward the NCAA Tournament. The Big 12 announced an updated schedule for next week with multiple makeup games that were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
Texas travels to No. 18 Texas Tech Saturday. Next week, the Longhorns go to Iowa State on Tuesday, Oklahoma on Thursday and TCU on Sunday.