The Longhorns figured out one way to avoid their late-game woes: blow out the other team.
Texas cruised past Texas Tech, 74-57, on Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center. After weeks of crushing defeats in the final seconds to some of the best teams in the country, the Longhorns took out their frustrations on the Big 12's worst.
"When people are getting after you, you need to fight back," said Texas coach Rick Barnes.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak for UT (14-9, 4-6 Big 12). The Longhorns had dropped five of their last six games--with four losses to top 10 teams--but they had little trouble taking care of the lowly Red Raiders (7-15, 0-9).
Clint Chapman had a career-best 20 points to go along with nine rebounds to lead Texas, who had three players with double-digit points. Guards J'Covan Brown and Sheldon McClellan each added 17. Texas' leading scorer was someone other than Brown for only the seventh time this season.
McClellan, a freshman, did most of his damage from around the rim and consistently beat his man to the hoop.
"I've never seen him attack the basket as well as he did tonight," Chapman said. "He didn't give up on that the entire game. He can get easy shots and jump over people."
McClellan started for the first time in six games and said his mindset was to get better looks and not settle for outside shots.
"The last few games I haven't been too aggressive," he said. "That's something I wanted to come out and do today. I think I did that."
Chapman blocked five shots and the senior forward helped Texas dominate the paint. UT had a 41-25 advantage on the boards. The Longhorns scored 15 second-chance points on the strength of 16 offensive rebounds (Chapman and Brown each grabbed four).
"We couldn't score inside and we couldn't keep them from scoring," said Texas Tech coach Billy Gillespie. "They put up a shield around the basket."
Texas was also the aggressor on offense and made 25 of 31 free throws. Tech only attempted 14 and made nine. The Longhorns converted 19 of 22 free throws in the first half to build a 40-25 lead at the break.
UT improved to 14-0 against the Red Raiders in Austin during the Rick Barnes era. The Longhorns are 13-2 at home this season.