Texas came back from a 12-point deficit to beat UT-Arlington 72-69 at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday evening. Check out the photos from the game:
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After playing each of its first four games at the Frank Erwin Center, the Longhorns head to Kansas City, Mo., Monday for their CBE semifinal matchup against the BYU Cougars.
Despite its youth and inexperience, Texas has started the season with an impressive four game win streak, but have yet to face the challenge of playing on the road.
“Just knowing that we’re going up to Kansas City to play BYU, this is a big opportunity for us to put Texas Basketball back on the map,” freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor said. “We want to get back to where we once were, so it’s a big opportunity [for] the team, the coaching staff and the program in general.”
Perhaps the bigger challenge for the young Longhorns will be playing on consecutive days, with a tournament championship on the line. Depending on the result of tonight’s game against the Cougars, Texas will take on DePaul or Wichita State in either the championship game or third place contest Tuesday night.
“The key will be playing in back-to-back games and playing a different style,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “So it will be important to adapt quickly from one game to the next. That’s what the early season is about. You try to get exposed to as many different styles as you can.”
Thought by many to be a team in the midst of the rebuilding process, the Longhorns have looked like a Big 12 contender in each of their first four games.
With so many unproven freshmen on the roster, it appeared as though Texas was going to need to rely heavily on it’s leading returning scorer from last year’s team, but that has not been the case.
“When we started the season, I would have thought we’d have to rely on Javan Felix for a little bit more scoring,” Barnes said. “But we don’t have to rely on any one player to score. We’d like to have five or six guys in double figures.”
Texas has done just that so far this year, with at least three players scoring in double figures in each of its games, including five guys with 10 or more against Stephen F. Austin. The Longhorns have also had three different leading scorers in their four contests this year, none of which have been Felix.
“I’ve been most surprised by our versatility on offense,” said junior forward Jonathan Holmes, who leads the team with 15 points per game. “I didn’t know how many guys would actually have the ability to score, but it’s good to see it from a lot of them.”
Westboro Baptist Church members, who had planned a picket protest on campus, were met with student counter protesters on the edge of campus and at the Capitol Wednesday.
The group, which originally planned to picket on campus at the Frank Erwin Center, protested at the intersection of Red River and Dean Keaton streets, on city property adjacent to the University. In a statement on Tuesday, UTPD said protesters who are not affiliated with the University are not allowed to protest on campus.
Before coming to the center, the Westboro Baptist Church was at the Capitol. Later in the morning, they went to Camp Mabry.
Westboro calls these gathering “religious protests and warnings,” according to their website. Westboro is an unaffiliated Baptist church based in Topeka, Kan. known for targeting the LGBTQ community and protesting during military funerals.
UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey said the group protested with signs and music until a larger crowd of people arrived. Austin Police Department and UTPD assisted with traffic issues during the event and the protest ended without any arrests.
While near campus and at the Capitol, the protestors stood alongside counter protesters opposing the anti-LGBTQ message and the church’s presence. The various counter-protesters included UT students who gathered after opposition to the Westboro visit spread via social media.
Update: This article has been updated to include a video from The Daily Texan's multimedia department.
There were a few things I knew going into the Taylor Swift concert at the Frank Erwin Center last night. I knew I was going to be surrounded by mostly preteens, there was going to be glitter and a lot of red. I didn’t know, however, that I was supposed to paint my body red, wrap my self in Christmas lights or recreate my own version of outfits she wore on stage.
My neighbor was about a foot and a half shorter than me, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the transcendent experience that is a Swift production. It’s easy to picture the curly headed blonde teenager on a stool with her guitar, but her newly straight hair and blunt bangs seem to make a much more sleek and sexy Swift. The black and red wardrobe and sets also contributed to a more mature feel. And when her silhouette appeared and the first sounds echoed through the arena, we were all in agreement: we would never be the same after this concert.
She opened with “State of Grace” and followed with “Holy Ground,” so the audience was thoroughly energized for the two hours ahead. Swift took moments throughout the show to smile into the crowd and soak in her screaming fans. She was also fresh off the Billboard Music Awards where she took home eight trophies, including Artist of the Year, so that could’ve been partially responsible for the sparkle in her eye. Then there was the strange and very sexed up version of “You Belong With Me,” where Swift and her back up singers stood in a row performing 1960s girl group arm choreography.
The next stand out number was “22.” I fear Swift has created a generation of young girls who are very much looking forward to an age that is mostly tinged with financial worries and getting your first job. But, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” immediately followed by “All Too Well” was perhaps the best part of the night. The first during which Swift’s dress was torn off to reveal a little black number underneath. Swift got about as sexy as you’ll ever see her get. “All Too Well” was deeply dramatic. Chandeliers hung from the top of the stage and it reminded me of Lady Gaga at her piano singing “Speechless” during the Monster Ball in 2011. I’m pretty sure there was fire and blood involved in Gaga’s performance, though.
Swift took time between songs to share some of her feelings and give young fans advice on life and love. When she looked out into the crowd and said surely we must have all felt the same love and heartbreak that she writes so poetically about, the screams in reply were deafening. All I could think was that at 8 years old, I certainly didn’t know heartbreak.
She closed the night with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The knowledge that she gets to end every night with the revenge of singing her triple platinum break up song, thousands of fans echoing in her ears and heart-shaped confetti falling from the ceiling is enough to make any girl, boy, man or woman want to be Taylor Swift.
See slideshow of Taylor Swift w/ Ed Sheeran here!
UT's 2013 graduation coverage
In his commencement address Saturday, UT President William Powers Jr said each graduate had a unique story to tell but had one thing in common: They all graduated from UT.
Documenting the graduation experience of more than 8,300 graduates with different stories to tell is impossible. Instead of trying to document all these different stories, The Daily Texan worked to document the students' shared graduation experience by spending 13 hours with the Class of 2013.
The Texan sent one reporter and various photographers to follow the UT graduates Friday and Saturday. We posted updates on what the graduates what experiencing every hour. Overall, the Texan attended seven individual graduation ceremonies over the two-day period and six iconic campus locations, including the Perry-Castaneda Library, the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center and Gregory Gym.
College graduation is not just a wake up, graduate and go to sleep ordeal. It's an experience. The day is filled with preparation, spending time with family and visiting places graduates might not see for a while. Below is the experience, in chronological order, of the UT Class of 2013.
Hour 1: 10 a.m. Friday — "Celebrate good times, come on"
About 314 students left Gregory Gym with government degrees after the first College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony Friday morning.
Matthew Haynes, a senior academic advisor for the college, said he will remember the Class of 2013 as the independent class. Haynes said this group of students went beyond just going to classes, taking internships and other opportunities.
"Don't stop continuing to find your own opportunities," Haynes said. "Don't wait around for them to be handed to you - make your own."
The ceremony ended with "Celebration," a song by Kool and The Gang.
Hour 2: 11 a.m. Friday — Schmoozing with government graduates
Government senior Victoria Soto left Gregory Gym with a sparkle in her eye.
Soto was surrounded by family and friends as soon as she left Gregory Gym, where 314 students graduated from the College of Liberal Arts Thursday morning.
A crowd of about 500 students, their friends and family gathered outside to talk and take pictures after the ceremony. Soto said she was feeling overwhelmed and a little scared after walking the stage.
"I don't want to leave," Soto said.
While she is leaving UT, Soto said she is planning to stay in Austin for two years before she applies to law school.
Tiffany Williams also graduated with a government degree Thursday. Williams was accepted to the Cornell University Law School in New York and plans to attend in the fall.
"It's kind of just starting to set in that I won't be here next year and I'm moving on," Williams said.
Williams said she is in the process of finding a summer part-time job. She said she felt attending a school with a diverse student population has prepared her to live anywhere.
She had a few parting words for her fellow graduates: "We did it, so go apply it."
Hour 3: 12 p.m. Friday — Sen. Kel Seliger's Ten Commandments: College Edition
State Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, rewrote the Ten Commandments in modern times on stage in front of a thousands during his UT commencement address at the Frank Erwin Center.
Seliger delivered the commencement speech for UT's College of Liberal Arts joint ceremony despite a busy schedule at the Texas Legislature. He kept his speech light and peppered it with jokes, drawing laughter from the crowd throughout his time on stage.
High-profile speakers at college commencements across the country included President Obama at Ohio State University and Oprah Winfrey at Harvard University.
"You have me," Seliger said.
The highlight of his speech was when he delivered the Ten Commandments and rewrote them to apply to college life. Some of Seliger's commandments are below:
- The last supper would be pizza and cola the next morning.
- There would be a new edition of the Ten Commandments every two years to limit reselling.
- The forbidden fruit would be eaten completely as long as it did not come from the Jester cafeteria.
- The end of the world would be known not as armageddon, but as finals.
- There would be no mules or sheep or goats, just mountain bikes.
- Moses and the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 days because they didn't want to answer directions and look like freshman.
- Creation was not done in six days. People would wait until the last day, pull an all-nighter and be done by 8:15 a.m.
Seliger kept the crowd laughing throughout his speech, opening with brief excerpts from his college experience. Seliger graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
"My college education meant a tremendous amount to my family. It stopped my mother from ragging on me," Seliger said.
Hour 4: 1 p.m. Friday — "Three hundred dozen roses expected to be sold at graduation"
Sean Weicks got to UT at 4 a.m. Friday. His task: set up the three flower stands on campus that are estimated to sell about three hundred dozen roses for Friday and Saturday's commencement ceremonies.
Weicks works for Commencement Flowers, a local business that sells flowers exclusively for graduation, and was stationed at Bass Concert Hall selling roses and UT commencement t-shirts Friday. Commencement Flowers will donate a portion of profits to UT to support University programs.
Roses from Commencement Flowers cost $30 a dozen and UT commencement t-shirts cost $20.
Weicks said it's funny to see his friends post pictures of themselves on Facebook with roses because it means he probably met their parents.
"I don't know what their parents look like, but I probably sold them those roses," Weicks said.
Hour 5: 2 p.m. — "Remember the library"
People walking in with a sweat-drenched wardrobe was a common sight at the Perry-Castaneda Library during Friday's graduation ceremonies.
"Water," said a graduate, who walked in with her hair pulled up and her white College of Liberal Arts graduation sash around her shoulders.
The Perry-Castaneda Library offered free cake, lemonade, water and a photo booth for graduates and their families in their first annual graduation celebration. UT Libraries spokeswoman Travis Willmann said staff wanted to give students a place to relax and remember the role the library played during their time at UT.
Willman said staff also set up the event as an outreach effort. Libraries don't have alumni like colleges and schools do and PCL needs student support, he said.
"We hope that they take away that this place helped them get through college and make it to this point," Willman said.
A couple hundred people visited the library today. Library staff said visitors included parents from California, Virginia and even Monterrey, Mexico.
Hour 6: 3 p.m. — "Luck does not exist"
College of Communication commencement speaker Stan Richards does not believe in luck. He believes people get what they earn.
The founder of the Richards Group, one of the largest independent advertising groups nationwide, addressed thousands at the college's commencement ceremony Friday. Richards urged graduating students to recognize the value in graduating from UT. Eighteen current Richards Group employees are UT alumni, he said.
Many students who come to UT are at the top of the class, he said. But once they get to University, which Richards called the "land of the ten percenters," they find they are probably just like the Average Joe.
Once students realize this, that's when they must focus on doing their best.
"I can't say whether I was greatest creative talent at Pratt, but I’m sure nobody at the school worked harder," Richards said. "I was hungry, I still am, I still work hard all day."
Hour 7: 4 p.m. Friday — Wait times lasting up to 45 min at Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
People leaving UT graduation ceremonies at the Frank Erwin Center Friday waited up to 45 min to get picked up because of the amount of traffic, Austin Police Department officials said.
APD officer Rick Zapata said traffic on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd has been up and down all day, typically increasing as it got closer to ceremony time. Zapata said people were complaining about a lack of parking and how much they had to walk to get to the center.
“I feel and hear their frustration,” Zapata said.
He said there was a fair amount of elderly people making the trek in the heat.
"I can't tell you how many ladies walked by with shoes in their hands," Zapata said. "Nicely dressed and sweaty."
Four ceremonies were scheduled at the center, including the communication, liberal arts and business convocations.
Hour 8: 5 p.m. Friday — Graduation is not just for family
Graduation is not just a family event, but also an event for friends, friends of friends and the relative you haven't spoken to in a long time.
Mary Blocker left San Antonio at 4 p.m. Friday to make it to her soon-to-be stepson's graduation from the McCombs School of Business at Gregory Grym. It is the first graduation she's ever been to.
Blocker said being at a graduation is exciting and seeing her stepson graduate makes her eager to see her daughter graduate from Texas State University in a few years.
Hour 9: 6 p.m. Friday — "Leave, but don't totally leave"
Graduates from the McCombs School of Business were told not to completely leave UT after graduation and were encouraged to give their time and talent back to the school.
Commencement speaker Jeffrey Swope, managing partner of real estate firm Champion Partners Ltd., graduated from the business school in 1973. But Swope never really left. Since he graduated, he has served on the board of various groups at McCombs and UT, including serving as chairman of the University Development Board and trustee of the McCombs Business School Foundation.
Relationships are important, he told the 600 students receiving a business administration masters degree. Almost every relationship needs to be a good one, and good relationships happen in helping others, Swope said.
"Don't get me wrong, the McCombs community wants you to go out into the world and leave your mark, that's what you're here for," Swope said. "But I would submit that your relationship with UT would submit you to give back a small amount of your valuable time, a small piece of your immense talent."
At 7 p.m., the Texan ended coverage for the day. We resumed our coverage of 13 hours with the Class of 2013 Saturday.
Hour 10: 9 a.m. Saturday — Setup is ongoing at the UT Tower
UT officials have one goal for Saturday's graduation ceremony in front of the UT Tower - make sure the 25,000 expected guests have a good time.
"There are three events you don't mess with in people's lives - their wedding, their funeral and their graduation," said Susan Threadgill, production director for University Events.
University Events director Rod Caspers said UT spends all year preparing for graduation. Setting up for graduation involves intense planning and preparation, he said. Curbs are repainted, flowers are replanted and 15,000 chairs at set up in the late hours of the night.
Caspers said UT started setting up the bleachers in front of the tower in April. University Events also works with the individual schools and colleges. When one school said they wanted confetti cannons, Caspers said his office tracked them down.
"It's kind of like we're inviting family and friends to our house. You don't invite family and friends to your house if you don't have enough food," Caspers said. "I don't want people to have a bad experience because we didn't plan for it.
Caspers said his office is already planning next year's graduation ceremonies.
Hour 11: 10 a.m. — "You are the 38 percent...act like it"
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, urged UT's Hispanic graduates to step up and demand they change they want in his graduation speech Saturday.
Martinez Fischer delivered the convocation for UT's Center of Mexican American Studies graduates Saturday morning. Fischer said the biggest challenge in Texas is not reforming higher education or expanding healthcare, but the 38 percent Hispanic majority that does not get involved in the legislative process.
The ceremony was part of multiple ceremonies for UT's College of Liberal Arts. With more than 21 academic departments and more than 41 majors, the college is one of the largest at UT.
Martinez Fischer urged graduates to think about ways they as Hispanics be more involved in decisions and issues affecting Texas.
"It's either going to be Latino brainpower that's going to be fixing those problems or Latino pocketbooks that are going to be financing those problems," he said.
Hour 12: 11 a.m. — The Great Texas Exit
Graduate student Stacey Jackson did not dare to enter the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center during her time at UT.
"I said, 'I'm not an alumni yet so I'll wait until my time,'" Jackson.
Jackson graduated with a masters in African and African Diasphora Studies Saturday. She stepped into the alumni center for the first time for the Great Texas Exit, a two-day graduation celebration hosted by UT's alumni group, the Texas Exes.
More than 2,600 graduates had visited the center by noon Saturday for free campagne, cupcakes and pictures with beloved UT icons, including mascots Bevo and Hook 'em.
"Your connection with the University isn't over. You're kind of starting a new chapter being an alumni" said Katie Lauck, campus relations coordinator for the Texas Exes. "We want to welcome you into the new family."
Lauck said the alumni organization was also offering a $200 discount for a life membership with the Texas Exes. Member benefits include career services, access to tailgates and online access to UT's library system. The regular price for the life membership is $1,000.
The Great Texas Exit will continue until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Hour 13: 12:00 p.m. — The differences between graduate school and hell
The dean of UT's School of Graduate Studies warned UT graduates of the consequences of having a doctorate degree Saturday.
"For the rest of your life, the next time you do anything stupid someone will make sure to point out you have a doctorate," said Judith Langlois, vice provost and dean of the school. She has a doctorate from Louisiana State University.
Langlois gave the opening speech at the ceremony and UT President William Powers Jr handed out diplomas. Powers is scheduled to speak at the event. As of 1:15 p.m., he had not spoken. However, the dean kept the crowd entertained, comparing graduate school to hell on stage.
Langlois outlined the differences between graduate school and hell. Some of these are below:
- You family actually understands the concept of hell. They might not understand the concept of graduate school.
- You don't have to have three letters of recommendation to go to hell.
- You would never tell someone who got on your nerves, "Oh shut up and go to graduate school."
- Hell is forever. Graduate school only seems like forever.
People packed UT's Bass Concert Hall, which can seat to 2,900, Saturday for the graduate school ceremony. Those who could not find seats watched the ceremony on screens outside the hall.
Hour 14: 1:00 p.m. — A toast to all the memories (An extra hour with the Class of 2013 - yes, we accidentally did 14)
Cain and Abel's on 24th Street seemed a little lonely Saturday afternoon, though staff said they are prepared to get slammed with recent graduates, and their parents, after UT's main graduation ceremony at 7 p.m.
Bars around Austin are anticipating a busy night Saturday, as the Class of 2013 ditch their graduation robes to take a celebratory swig. Julian Tapia works at Buckshots on Sixth Street and said he saw about 800 people Friday night, the bulk of which he attributed to graduation.
Stacey Donalan, a public relations graduate, was at Cain and Abel's Saturday afternoon and said she would be returning to the bar before the main commencement ceremony. Donalan said she came to Cain and Abel's with her mother, aunt and friends Friday night to celebrate.
Donalan said she will toast to her four years at UT, but not to the memories at Cain and Abel's.
"I don't have any memories, I got too drunk," she said.
The world’s most exciting basketball team travels to Austin this week. The Harlem Globetrotters will be putting on a pair of performances at the Frank Erwin Center on Thursday and Friday.
The Globetrotters, who will celebrate their 87th anniversary this year, are in the midst of their 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour. In addition to hosting exhibition games across the United States, the Globetrotters will perform in a number of different countries in 2013 including Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Fans at the Frank Erwin Center will have the privilege of watching the Globetrotters perform their trademark trick passes and highlight-reel dunks against the team with the world’s longest losing streak, the Washington Generals. In addition, fans will be given the opportunity to directly impact the game, as the “You Write the Rules” Tour calls for people to visit the Harlem Globetrotters website in order to vote for new features that they wish to see in the game.
Potential rule changes that fans can suggest include having two balls on the court at once, doubling the point value of every basket and implementing a 35-foot four-point shot.
The Globetrotters also feature a trio of female players this season, giving them a total of 11 women in their history. One of them, Mighty Mitchell, will be making the trip to Austin to take on the Generals with the rest of the Globetrotters.
Throughout the tour, the Globetrotters will be using a pink basketball to increase breast cancer awareness. The use of this ball started Oct. 7, 2012, during their show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and it will be used for the duration of their 2013 tour. Pink wristbands will be sold at the Frank Erwin Center this week, and a portion of the proceeds will go to raising breast cancer awareness.
Austin has long been a destination for the Globetrotters, who will be visiting many of the country’s biggest cities during the tour. The Globetrotters have typically commanded large crowds in their past trips to Austin and current player “Cheese” Chisolm told KVUE News earlier in the week that they enjoy performing in front of the Austin faithful.
“We’re very excited to be here. We love playing in Austin,” Chisholm told KVUE. “We’ve been coming here for a while.”
The Globetrotters, who formed in 1926 and changed their hometown to Harlem in 1929, have been highly regarded across the globe for decades and they have had a number of impressive performers in their history. The most notable player to ever put on the Globetrotter uniform was Wilt Chamberlain, who would go on to become a Hall of Fame center in the NBA.
Although there will likely not be a player of Chamberlain’s caliber on this year’s squad, fans going to the see the Globetrotters Thursday or Friday night should get their money’s worth.
In what was easily their best performance of the year, the Longhorns dominated No. 23 North Carolina in a 85-67 victory Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas led the entire way, taking a 6-0 lead in the first minute of the game and never looking back. The Tar Heels, who have now lost five of their last six games against the Longhorns, cut the deficit to as few as four points in the second half. But Texas pulled away down the stretch to pick up what could prove to be a crucial non-conference win.
"It was a great win and it was one that was much-needed," head coach Rick Barnes said. "I think they looked more decisive than we've been. The last game I started seeing some of that. I've told them all year that we can average a bunch of points if we quit turning the ball over."
Despite shooting just 4-for-17 from the floor, Sheldon McClellan led the Longhorns with 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and hit 10 of 13 free throw attempts.
"There was a lot of hype coming into the game just because of the rivalry of us playing North Carolina," McClellan said. "I was being aggressive. I knew they were going to pressure me a lot coming off screens, so I was just ready to come off the screen shooting."
Julien Lewis chipped in 16 points, scoring five points during an 8-2 run in the second half that turned a four-point lead into a 68-58 advantage. North Carolina was never within striking distance down the stretch. Jonathan Holmes chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds and Ioannis Papapetrou scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, recording his first career double-double.
"It's pretty big for us," Holmes said. "We had a couple tough losses, mainly because we weren't playing as hard as we should. Tonight we came out and played harder than them and did what Coach has expected us to do all year long. We definitely set the bar high."
The same Texas team that fell to NAIA Chaminade in the Maui Invitational and scored just 41 points in a loss to Georgetown earlier this month took a 46-33 lead over North Carolina into halftime. The Longhorns, who led by as many as 19 points, will face No. 20 Michigan State in East Lansing oon Saturday.
"We haven't faced that pressure all year," Barnes said. "You knew they were going to make a run. The only thing that we didn't do was respond the way we needed to coming out of halftime. You've got to give them credit. They did a great job of getting to the foul line and a lot of that was offensive rebounds."
Texas improved to 7-4 with the win, earning a victory that should impress the Selection Committee when it decides who will be in the 68-team NCAA Tournament in March. Despite taking 12 fewer free throws and getting out-rebounded, the Longhorns were able to use a stifling defense to top the Tar Heels.
Texas held North Carolina to 31.3 percent shooting from the floor and recorded 12 steals. Turnovers have plagued the Longhorns all season long, but they committed only 13 while North Carolina committed 18.
Julien Lewis scored a season-high 18 points as Texas topped UT-Arlington 70-54 Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center. Lewis caught fire from behind the three-point line, hitting a career-high six threes as well as recording a game-high four steals.
Texas would finish the game with three scorers in double-digits and shot 50 percent as a team from behind the three-point arc.
“There were more good things,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “We ran some fake screen action and got where we could drive the ball. Some of that was good. It’s just the mentality there when you have the lead that we don’t stay engaged.”
The Longhorns jumped to an early lead, fueled by eight first half three-pointers. Texas shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and entered the intermission with a 38-18 lead over the Mavericks. The Mavericks’ Jordan Reeves and Cameron Catlett led the team in scoring with four points apiece at the half.
Javan Felix tied a career-high with nine assists and turned the ball over twice as he split point guard duties with fellow freshmen Ioannis Papapetrou and Demarcus Holland. Papapetrou added a career-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Holland garnered his second consecutive start in favor of sophomore Sheldon McClellan, who came off the bench to score 14 points.
Texas led by 28 points with 12 minutes to play in the second half and the Mavericks struggled to keep up for much of the game. While the Mavericks did finish the game with more points in the paint, the Longhorns converted 19 UTA turnovers into 20 points and were buoyed by 43 points off the bench, thanks in large to McClellan and Papapetrou.
“Even the walk-ons would tell you that we didn’t play as hard the second half, and that is part of learning how to finish and having the discipline to play for 40 minutes,” Barnes said.
Defense continues to be the calling card for this Texas team as it held the Mavericks to less than 30 percent shooting from the field for the game.
Printed on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 as: Horns solid over Mavericks, Lewis leads with 18 points
A week after claiming the No. 19 spot in the country, the Longhorns will confront a new foe in their first game Tuesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
The women’s basketball team will carry its undefeated record into its first matchup against Jackson State in school history. The team is 2-0 after a dominating performance in the WBI Tip Off Classic last weekend.
The Longhorns opened up their slate of games in Daytona Beach with a 70-60 win over a solid St. John’s team. Sophomore Nneka Enemkpali recorded her first-ever double-double in this contest, imposing her will with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Enemkpali again led the dominating effort against Hofstra, finishing the game with 26 points and 10 rebounds to record her second straight double-double. Texas outrebounded Hofstra 62-31 in its 72-52 victory showing tenacity on the boards that will definitely cause trouble for Jackson State.
Enemkpali was named the MVP of the tournament after converting 18 of her 25 shots attempted last weekend. Junior Chassidy Fussell was named to the All-Tournament team in a weekend that also saw her make the Naismith Trophy early season watch list.
Texas carries a 34-4 record in its previous 38 home openers into this game, as momentum continues to build for a team on the rise.
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But Texas is 1-0.
Sheldon McClellan scored 18 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as the Longhorns squeaked past Fresno State, 55-53,in their season opener at the Frank Erwin Center Friday night. The Longhorns shot just 36.7 percent from the field and recorded only three assists but were able to avoid losing their first season opener since 2001.
Any sluggishness they displayed could be attributed to the fact that they have not had a day off in nearly a week.
“We’re a tired team right now and it’s my fault,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “We’ve had to remake ourselves a little bit with Myck [Kabongo]’s situation and Jaylen [Bond] going down ... This is our sixth straight day. In the last eight or nine years, we’ve never practiced more than three days in a row.”
Playing without Kabongo, the team’s star point guard, and sophomore forward Bond, Texas was left with only three available scholarship players that had played college basketball before. One of them, sophomore forward Jonathan Holmes, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Another, McCllelan was 14-for-14 from the free throw line, the most attempts from the charity stripe without a miss in school history. “My outside shot wasn’t falling and Coach [Barnes] called some plays for me to get around the rim,” McClellan said. “I just kept being in attack mode and kept my confidence up by getting to the free throw line.”
Kabongo was held out of the game as the NCAA continues to investigate whether he received impermissible benefits from an agent during the off-season, and Bond missed the opener with an ankle injury he suffered during practice earlier in the week.
Without them, Texas never led Fresno State by more than five points. Freshmen accounted for 19 of the 25 points scored by the Longhorns in the first half. Javan Felix, starting in place of Kabongo, led the way in the first 20 minutes with eight points and seven rebounds before halftime.
But he slowed down in the second half, shooting just 1-of-7 from the floor and committing three turnovers.
“I think we got tentative,” Barnes said. “We weren’t attacking the defense. We were just dribbling with no purpose. Javan got tired. Because of that, we didn’t get our offense going the way we wanted to get it going.”
The game was tied 11 times, the last being when the Longhorns and Bulldogs — coached by former Texas assistant Rodney Terry — were knotted up at 48 with 2:14 remaining in the second half. McClellan hit two pairs of free throws on the Longhorns’ next two possessions to give them a 52-48 lead.
After Fresno State hit two free throws to cut Texas’ advantage to two points, Felix badly missed a floater close to the basket, a shot he hit several times in the first half. The Bulldogs’ Kevin Olekaibe, with his team trailing, 52-50, airballed a three-pointer before McClellan hit two more free throws to put the game away.
“We’re not going to blow anyone out,” McClellan said. “They came out here and played hard. We just stayed together as a team and grinded it out at the end.”
Printed on Monday, November 12, 2012 as: Horns edge Bulldogs in season opener