Texas falls to UConn in OTPosted: Updated:
AUSTIN, Texas -- Kemba Walker, the nation’s leading scorer, made a 15-foot jumper with 5 seconds left in overtime to lift No. 8 Connecticut to a 82-81 victory over No. 12 Texas on Saturday.
The Longhorns quickly moved the ball to midcourt before calling timeout, but freshman Cory Joseph’s juggling 3-pointer after the inbound pass fell well short.
Walker finished with 22 points against a tough defensive effort by Texas that shut him down for long stretches of the game. But Walker came up with the big shot when the Huskies needed it, shooting over Dogus Balbay for the winner.
Connecticut (12-2) ended Texas’ 27-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents. Jordan Hamilton and J’Covan Brown each scored 20 points for the Longhorns (12-3).
Alex Oriaki had a career-high 21 rebounds for the Huskies.
Walker hit just 8 of 27 shots and didn’t score in the first 17
minutes. He finished with a flurry, scoring seven in overtime, including a from-the-hip 3-pointer from about 28 feet that barely beat the shot clock and put Connecticut ahead 80-77.
Texas had taken the lead on a basket by Hamilton before Walker’s winner.
UConn blew a chance to win the game in regulation. Oriaki blocked a shot by Texas’ Gary Johnson and Roscoe Smith grabbed the rebound with about 11 seconds left. Instead of holding the ball for a final shot, Smith launched a wild crosscourt shot that sailed over the backboard and into the Texas pep band.
That gave the Longhorns the ball back with 7.5 seconds to play, but Brown missed to send the game into overtime.
Walker came in averaging 26.1 points but found himself dogged by Texas defenders the entire game. Balbay, Joseph and Brown combined to contest his shots and close driving lanes to the basket.
With Walker struggling, the Huskies pounded the ball inside and used their size and length to score 42 points in the paint. Smith scored 13 points and Oriaki had 11.
Shabazz Napier added 15 points for the Huskies, making three 3-pointers. Napier scored the first basket in overtime before Walker did the rest.
Texas had five players score in double figures. Hamilton also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Connecticut held its biggest lead at 68-59 in the second half when Walker finished a slashing layup and Napier made a 3-pointer.
Texas fought back to cut UConn’s lead to 70-69 on Tristan Thompson’s bank shot with 2:36 to play. Hamilton blew a dunk on a fast break, but the Longhorns grabbed the lead on Brown’s short jumper before the teams ended regulation tied at 73.