Many great games have been played in Madison Square Garden in its storied past. But Texas turned in a flat performance Tuesday night that likely won’t be remembered as anything besides its value as another learning experience for the youthful Longhorns.
Georgetown dominated in the 64-41 win, snapping Texas’ three-game win streak and further cementing the notion that the Longhorns are going to struggle without suspended point guard Myck Kabongo on the court.
“I am really disappointed in the lack of will and that we did not continue to fight,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “We talked over and over about turning the ball over. The way we turned it over and the decisions we continue to make and the fact that we do not do what we practice. Georgetown did not do one thing tonight that we weren’t expecting and I don’t understand.”
Kabongo did not travel with the team, a decision the NCAA made Monday after previously allowing Kabongo to travel to Hawaii for a tournament last month. Texas officials have stated that the NCAA has yet to notify the team of any progress, or lack thereof, in the investigation surrounding a summer training session Kabongo participated in during the off-season.
Jaylen Bond also sat out his fifth straight game after re-aggravating a foot injury against Chaminade in the Maui Classic.
The Hoyas led by as many as 17 points in the first half, as Otto Porter scored eight of his game-high 14 points in the first period. The Hoyas’ deliberate offensive style, made effective by crisp team passing, allowed players to find open areas near the basket all game and led them to 41 percent shooting from the field.
Entering the game, Texas had led the nation in field goal percentage defense, but Georgetown overpowered the Longhorns on the boards and converted baskets around the rim. The Longhorns had a bit of success slowing down the Hoyas by switching to a zone defense, but any momentum Texas had entering halftime had dissipated once the second half started.
“We don’t have the winning attitude as a group yet that you need to have,” Barnes said. “We are better than how we are playing. Obviously I am going to hold myself responsible for that. I know how hard we are working, but you come to a point in time where they are the ones that are going to have to execute it.”
Sheldon McClellan led the Longhorns in scoring once again with 12 points, and the only other player to score double figures for Texas was Cameron Ridley with 11. The Longhorns’ starting five of Ridley, Javan Felix, Jonathan Holmes, Demarcus Holland and Julien Lewis accounted for 17 of the team’s 21 turnovers and Texas shot its lowest percentage from the field since 1996 (28.6). The Longhorns’ 41 points were also the lowest during Rick Barnes’ 15 years at Texas.
Printed on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 as: Shooting thwarts Texas during loss