Texas dominates TCU, has won two of three heading into clash with West Virginia

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Freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou looks to pass in Saturday’s win against Big 12 opponent TCU. Papapetrou recorded 13 points and three assists to help the Longhorns gain another victory. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Don’t look now, but Texas has won two of its last three games.

Coming into last weekend, TCU had not won a game in Big 12 play. That didn’t change Saturday. The Longhorns held a 12-point lead at halftime and never led by fewer than nine points in the second half. They made quick work of a hapless TCU team, taking down the Horned Frogs, 60-43, on Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center.

In its first game since a 26-point loss to Kansas State last Wednesday, the school’s worst road loss in Big 12 play under Rick Barnes, Texas (10-11, 2-6) dominated TCU. The Longhorns shot a season-best 52.3 percent from the floor and held the Horned Frogs (9-12, 0-8) to 32.7 percent shooting. Coming into the game, Texas was holding opponents to 36 percent shooting from the floor, the third-best mark in
the country.

“I don’t think it’s about embarrassment. It’s about pride,” freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou, who scored 13 points and recorded three assists, said. “We know we’re Texas. We know what the program’s about, what the tradition’s about. We knew we could have done better [against Kansas State]. We blame ourselves.”

Sheldon McClellan scored a team-high 15 points while freshman forward Connor Lammert chipped in a season-high 10 points as the Longhorns picked up their second win in Big 12 play this year. They dropped each of their first five games against conference foes, including an overtime loss to West Virginia at home, when they blew a 13-point second-half lead.

“We knew we had to get this win,” Lammert said. “We tried to keep the tempo up but this game, we had an emphasis on getting the ball inside more, going inside out. We shot a higher percentage because we got the ball inside more and hit the open guys on the outside.”

Garlon Green hit the Horned Frogs’ only two three-pointers of the game during an 8-0 TCU run that cut the Longhorns lead to 48-39 with 7:10 remaining in the second half. Texas made sure the Horned Frogs never got any closer, eventually winning. It marked the Longhorns’ most lopsided victory since a 85-67 triumph over North Carolina on Dec. 19.

“They were more engaged today than ever,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “We had more guys talking and helping each other. I think the real question is why that happens. That’s where we get a lead and get lazy mentally and think we can take a little time off.”

Texas has seen double-digit, second-half leads trimmed to fewer than 10 points each of the last two weekends before hanging on for the win. A trip to Morgantown to face a West Virginia team that has already beaten the Longhorns in Austin will be a tough one. But, now that Texas seems to have figured out how to hang on to a lead, it may return with another win under its belt.

Published on February 4, 2013 as "Texas dominates TCU for second Big 12 win".