The scene at the Frank Erwin Center was a familiar one for the Longhorns on Tuesday night. Texas and Kansas State traded baskets all night, with neither team ever leading by more than six. The game would come down to who could hit the last shot.
This time, with 1.9 seconds remaining on the clock and the ball on the sideline, junior forward Jonathon Holmes received an inbound pass in the corner and drilled a fade-away 3-pointer to give the Longhorns another close win, 67-64.
“The shot was exciting just because it was great to get the ‘W,’” Holmes said “It’s hard to win in the Big 12, so to get a win against Kansas State — a ranked team — is very big.”
Texas, which is now 11–2 in 13 games decided by 10 points or less this season, led for the majority of the first three quarters of the game, but terrible shooting plagued the Longhorns in the final 10 minutes of the game and kept the Wildcats in it.
After converting 51.7 percent of their field goals in the first half, the Longhorns went cold in the second half, hitting a miserable 39.3 percent of their attempts. Sophomore point guard Javan Felix, who shot the ball well in the first half, opened the second half with a series of misses and his teammates followed suit. Texas made just seven of its first 21 second-
“Those missed shots are just part of the game,” Barnes said. “You’re going to miss some shots, but you just have to keep shooting.”
Despite their struggles early in the second half, the Longhorns made enough stops on the defensive end to give themselves a chance to win it at the end.
Leading by two with 12 seconds to go and a chance to seal the game, Felix missed two free throws. Kansas State’s Shane Southwell grabbed the rebound off the second miss and took the ball coast-to-coast, throwing up a prayer in the lane that splashed through the mesh, tying the game at 64 with seven seconds to go.
After advancing the ball and calling a timeout with four ticks left on the clock, Texas failed to execute and was forced to call yet another timeout, this time with just 1.9 seconds left.
“The first time it was supposed to be for [Felix],” Holmes said. “So I knew they would be thinking about [Felix] again after the second timeout. I was the second option on the play, and I knew, if my guy went with [Felix], I would be open.”
The remaining seconds were all the time the Longhorns would need. Freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor found Holmes, who had rolled to the corner after setting a screen, and the team’s only upperclassman hit the biggest shot of his three-year career on the 40 Acres.