Why Texas won: Texas didn’t waste any time pulling away from Coppin State. The Longhorns squeaked past a Fresno State team that won only 13 games last year, 55-53, in their season opener last Friday, never leading by more than five points. Despite committing 26 turnovers and shooting 55 percent from the free throw line, they won by 23 points Monday.
First half: Sheldon McClellan, who scored a game-high 20 points in Texas’ season-opening win over Fresno State last week, picked up right where he left off. He had 13 points by halftime while Texas’ defense held Coppin State to 21.4 percent shooting from the floor. After recording just three assists in the win over the Bulldogs a few days earlier, Texas had nine in the first half. Freshman point guard Javan Felix, starting his second straight game in place of Myck Kabongo, who continues to be investigated by NCAA, had six of them.
Second half: Texas got off to a sluggish start after halftime, hitting just one of five shots and committing five turnovers in the first 4:45 of the second half. But a three-pointer from McClellan, sandwiched between a pair of dunks by Prince Ibeh, one on the back end of an alley-oop from McClellan, got the Longhorns back on track. Texas shot 54.5 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes after shooting 40.7 percent in the first half.
By the numbers:
26: The number of turnovers Texas committed, the most by the Longhorns under Rick Barnes, breaking the mark of 25 set in 1999. It was also twice as many turnovers as Texas had in its win over Fresno State
24.6: Coppin State’s field goal percentage. After holding Fresno State to 35.6 percent shooting last week, the Longhorns’ defense stepped up again, holding the Eagles to 24.6 percent shooting from the floor and out-rebounding them, 50-25.
Up - Sheldon McClellan: The sophomore guard struggled with his shot Friday, scoring 14 of his 20 points from the free throw line. He was much more efficient Monday, going 7-for-10 from the floor and connecting on three of four three-point attempts on his way to scoring a career-high 25 points.
Down - Prince Ibeh’s free throw shooting: The 6-foot-10 freshman was solid Monday, grabbing nine rebounds in 20 minutes. His free throw shooting wasn’t. He went 0-for-4 from the charity stripe and missed the rim on a pair of free throw tries in the second half.
Texas gets a week off before next Monday’s game against Chaminade in Hawaii, its first in the Championship Round of the Maui Invitational. The Longhorns will face either Southern California or Illinois in Tuesday’s semifinals. Texas made its last Maui Invitational appearance in 2008, when it finished in third place. In their only meeting, the Longhorns beat Chaminade, 84-62, in 2004.
Printed on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 as: Texas commits 26 turnovers in win