AUSTIN, Texas – Mac McClung made a long jumper with 3 seconds left and No. 15 Texas Tech rallied to beat No. 4 Texas 79-77 on Wednesday night, ending the Longhorns’ perfect start in the Big 12.
Texas (10-2, 4-1) led almost the entire game and a blistering start against one of the top defensive teams in the country had the Longhorns in control before a sloppy finish and some late Texas Tech 3-pointers snatched the win for the Red Raiders (11-3, 4-2).
McClung’s shot was originally ruled a 3-pointer before a video review. Texas had a final chance, but Matt Coleman’s desperation 3-pointer never came close to the basket. Coleman also missed a shot in traffic for the lead with 17 seconds left.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Mac,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “He has the courage to take those shots.”
McClung finished with 22 points. Andrew Jones had 20 for Texas, but scored just two points after halftime as the Red Raiders shut him down. Jericho Sims added 16 for Texas, but was just 6 of 14 on free throws, with two key misses late.
Texas led 77-73 after Courtney Ramey’s 3-pointer with 1:40 to play. McClung then made two free throws, Sims missed two free throws for Texas before the Red Raiders tied it when Ramey got sloppy passing the ball inbounds, creating an easy tying layup for Tech’s Terrence Shannon. McClung then buried his long shot from the right wing.
“Our guys scrapped. They really did,” Beard said.
Texas Tech has roughed up the Longhorns in recent years with six wins in seven matchups, including three in a row in Austin. The latest was tense from the start. Both teams were whistled for technical fouls in the first half.
The last time these teams were supposed to play, they were pulled off the court during warmups at the 2020 Big 12 tournament in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, it was viewed as a pivotal game for Texas coach Shaka Smart, who was facing intense speculation that he could be fired.
Smart has the program turned around this season and the sounds of Texas Tech players celebrating their win echoed through the Frank Erwin Center, which was empty of fans because of the pandemic.
“They came in here and were two points better than us,” Smart said. “They deserve to celebrate that.”
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders gave up 48 points in the first half, then clamped down on Jones defensively, allowing him just one shot in 16 minutes. It was a pivotal turn that kept the Longhorns within range for a comeback after falling behind by 10. “I thought in the second half, they really were the aggressors,” Smart said.
Texas: The Longhorns finally had a game when it couldn’t find the big shot late. Texas was 4-0 in games decided by three points or less coming in. Just a few days earlier, Jones had made the game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds to beat West Virginia on the road.
The pivotal play was the miscue by two of Texas’ best, most experienced players. After drawing an offensive foul on Texas Tech with 45 seconds left, Texas had the ball and the lead. Then came Ramey’s errant pass to Coleman, which was picked off Coleman’s hands by the Red Raiders’ Kyler Edwards. A quick pass to Shannon for a wide-open layup tied it.
“We’d all like to have that play back,” Smart said. “You put the ball in those guys’ hands because those guys have made so many good plays. I’ll continue to put the ball in those guys’ hands.
Texas Tech: Hosts No. 2 Baylor on Saturday
Texas: Hosts Kansas State on Saturday.
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