Texas has little time to prepare for Colorado
NEW YORK – Texas coach Shaka Smart does not have much time to try to fix the things that went wrong for his No. 22 Longhorns in a 77-58 loss to Northwestern late Monday night in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
The Longhorns (3-1) tip-off at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday against Colorado (3-1) in the consolation game of the tournament. Notre Dame faces Northwestern in the evening's title game.
Texas led for only 3:23 against Northwestern and trailed by double digits for the entire second half.
The Longhorns shot 48 percent from the line and 37 percent from the floor. They turned the ball over 14 times, were out-rebounded 40-31 and allowed Northwestern to score 18 second-chance points.
It was the first time in nearly three years that Northwestern knocked off a Top 25 team.
So where does Smart and his coaching staff start?
“I think the most important thing is to come with great energy and be able to turn the page quickly and what goes into winning this next game,” he said. “Obviously there's going to be a lot of things on tape that we're going to want to practice and do better and get better at through practice, but we don't have that luxury between now and 3:30.
“We're going to have to get our guys rest tonight, wake up in the morning and talk about what we need to do and work together as a unit to be better that we were tonight.”
Tevin Mack paced Texas with 18 points.
Northwestern set the tone early by opening the game on an 11-0 run en route to a 34-26 halftime lead.
The Wildcats opened the first 3:14 of the second half with a big outburst, going on a 10-1 run for a 44-27 cushion.
Northwestern closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 34-26 advantage. Scottie Lindsey scored seven points in the spurt, finishing with 13 points in the half.
Texas made just nine shots in the half, including five 3-pointers.
A 3-pointer from Mack gave the Longhorns a 23-22 lead, their first of the half, with 7:13 remaining.
A 20-9 blitz by Texas tied the score at 20 after Northwestern took a sizable early lead.
The Wildcats forced six turnovers in the first seven minutes.
“I thought Northwestern did a great job of starting the game with aggressiveness,” said Smart. “They got that big lead. For us it's an experience that we need to learn from and grow. There's a lot of things that we're going to take from the tape that we can fix and do better with slight adjustments.”
Earlier Monday, Colorado dropped an 89-83 decision to Notre Dame in the opener of the tournament.
The Buffaloes trailed by 15 points at halftime and were able to get as close as four points twice in the final minute, but Notre Dame went 14 for 14 from the free throw line over the final 1:33.
Xavier Johnson led the Buffaloes with 23 points, and Derrick White had 20 points and nine assists. .
“I liked our guys' fight to get back. You dig yourself a hole in the first half, against a good team it's tough,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “They made free throws down the stretch when they had to. I knew they (Notre Dame) were a good free-throw shooting team. So it's tough to come back on teams like that. We have to fight for 40 minutes, not for 20.”
The Buffaloes came in allowing 59.3 points per game.