AUSTIN, Texas–Isaiah Taylor scored 23 points and tacked on seven assists as No. 24 Texas holds off a late rally attempt by No. 10 West Virginia to win 85-78 on Tuesday night.
Eric Davis Jr. scored 15 points, including going 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Javan Felix had 11 points and Tevin Mack added 10.
WVU (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) trailed by 16 points in the second half, but a 13-0 run late in the second half gave the Mountaineers a fighting chance.
Phillip made two free throws to start WVU’s run with 5:11 left in the game. Back-to-back 3s from Jevon Carter and Phillip made it a six-point game with 1:04 remaining. Texas (17-9, 8-5) answered with a pair of free throws to go back up by eight.
Holton made it a 77-71 deficit on a three-point play with 38 seconds to go, but the Longhorns would make eight straight free throws to put the game away.
“It seemed like every time we got it going we did something or something happened that didn’t allow us to make the comeback that we needed to make,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “Then at the end you are running out of fouls.”
Jaysean Paige went to the bench in the first half with a sprained ankle. The senior guard tried to return in the second half but was taken out after a missed 3-pointer.
Texas had no trouble with WVU’s pressure defense. The Mountaineers forced just seven turnovers and had only four steals.
Early on it appeared as if the press might fluster the Longhorns. WVU attacked the Texas’ ballhandlers and caused three turnovers that spurred a 12-4 lead.
The Longhorns quickly regrouped and Davis caught fire, hitting four 3-pointers. The freshman guard drained a 3 with 9:51 to go in the first half to pull the Longhorns within one.
The two teams exchanged a barrage of 3-pointers before Davis hit a shot from beyond the arc with 16 seconds left to put Texas up 44-36.
Mack made a free throw with seven seconds remaining to send Texas to the locker room with a 45-36 lead.
“We got tired and gave up penetration, they suck you in to help and then they pitch it and they get step-in shots,” Huggins said.
The Longhorns picked right back up where it left off in the second half. Connor Lammert dropped a 3 and Taylor followed it up with a three-point play to take a 55-43 lead.
The Mountaineers shot 47 percent from the floor and made 7-of-18 from 3-point range. WVU’s free throw struggles reared its head once again as the Mountaineers made just 13-of-21 from the line.
Texas shot 48 percent from the field and made 10-of-22 from beyond the arc. The Longhorns capitalized on chances from the foul line and made 25 of its 30 free throws.
Texas completed the season sweep of the Mountaineers while snapping a two game losing skid.
WVU returns home on Saturday for a showdown against No. 3 Oklahoma.
Quotes Courtesy of WVUsports.com