NEW YORK (AP) — Rick Barnes knew he would have a lot of teaching to do this season with a roster that has 10 sophomores and freshmen and still doesn’t know when starting guard Myck Kobango will return to the lineup.
The Longhorns struggled offensively in a 64-41 loss to No. 15 Georgetown on Tuesday night in the opening game of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Otto Porter had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead Georgetown. Nate Lubick added 13 points and Markel Starks had 11 for the Hoyas, who led by 13 at halftime. The lead grew to 23 and was never less than eight in the second half.
“I thought we were quite attentive to defense,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “With the exception of giving them some free throws and some baskets in transition, they had to work for everything they got and that’s what we wanted to do.”
The Hoyas (6-1), whose only loss this season was to No. 1 Indiana in overtime, scored the first nine points of the game, the last four from Lubick on layups.
Sheldon McClellan had 12 points to lead the Longhorns (5-3), who had their lowest point total under Barnes, who took over as coach for the 1998-99 season. Texas had won three straight after losing two in a row.
“After these games, we’re making the same mistakes,” Barnes said. “Throwing passes to guys they know can’t catch it. Getting the ball tipped away from behind. I don’t understand. We wanted to throw the ball inside all night. We didn’t. I still don’t think they can guard us. If I could have 20 timeouts a game so I could tell them things we would have more wins.”
The Longhorns struggled with their shooting and turnovers throughout the first half. The Hoyas led by as many as 17 points in the first half, the last time at 30-13 on a jumper by Porter with 2:55 to go.
“We defended them well enough. We really did,” Barnes said. “It was our offense again. We don’t put pressure on people the way we should.”
Texas shot 28.6 percent (8 of 28), including 1 of 6 from 3-point range, in the first half against Georgetown and committed 12 turnovers that the Hoyas turned into 14 points on the way to a 30-17 halftime lead.
The shooting was almost as bad in the second half. Texas, which came in averaging 64.4 points per game, finished 6 of 20 (30 percent) from the field in the second half and was 14 of 48 (29.2 percent) overall. The Longhorns were 2 of 13 from 3-point range.
“What I’m disappointed most in is just the will to continue to fight wasn’t there,” Barnes said. “We start the game and all we talk about is not turning the ball over. They don’t do what we practice. They didn’t do one thing we didn’t expect.”
Georgetown shot 41 percent (25 of 61) for the game but the Hoyas made only 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.
Porter hit some big shots early.
“The team trusts me to be aggressive and that’s what I wanted to pick up coming into this season,” he said.
The win over Tennessee was the Hoyas’ worst offensive effort of the shot clock era, their lowest point total since a 37-36 win over Southern Methodist in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 1985. Georgetown shot 36 percent in the game and Tennessee made 33 percent.
Kabongo is out because of an ongoing NCAA eligibility investigation.
“That doesn’t matter right now,” Barnes said. “Right now it’s not about that. We’re better than we’re playing.”
It was just the second meeting between the programs. Texas beat Georgetown 78-70 on Jan.8, 1972, in Austin.
“I have to do a better job coaching. If you have a will to win you have to understand that and not make the same mistakes over and over,” Barnes said. “The 50-50 balls, having the ball ripped out of your hands. … There’s such a fine line. We don’t understand yet that we have to make it work for ourselves by turning them over.”