Felix, Holmes No. 11 Texas beats Texas Tech in Big 12 opener
Texas coach Rick Barnes watched in frustration as his team relaxed after leading Texas Tech by 20 points.
The No. 11 Longhorns hung on to beat the Red Raiders 70-61 on Saturday.
"But at the end, we got back on our heels and played the way we needed to play," Barnes said. "There’s a lesson to be learned here: No lead is big enough. At the end of the game, we just didn’t execute consistently the way we needed to. Our decisions weren’t very good."
Javan Felix scored 15 points and Jonathan Holmes added 14 to lead Texas in each team’s Big 12 opener.
Felix was 3 of 6 from 3-point range, while Holmes became the 34th player in Texas history to score 1,000 points.
The Longhorns (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) outrebounded the Red Raiders 41-29 and had twice as many points off turnovers.
Foul trouble early in the second half hurt the Red Raiders’ ability to stop the Longhorns’ inside game. Texas Tech didn’t start getting the ball inside until late and finished with 26 points in the paint.
Isaiah Manderson scored 12 points for the Red Raiders (10-4, 0-1).
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith was pleased with his team’s improved defense and offensive aggressiveness to pull within 66-59 with 1:19 remaining. He credited Manderson and Keenan Evans’ willingness to attack the basket and find people open.
"Our defensive intensity, the trapping," he said. "We forced them into some hurry-up situations. They were trying to milk the clock and we got them playing a little faster than they wanted."
Texas Tech went on an 8-2 run early in the second half to get within 41-35. The Longhorns answered quickly with 12 straight points to extend their lead to 53-35, holding the Red Raiders without a basket for more than five minutes.
Holmes, who was shut out in the first half, scored on the Longhorns’ first possession of the second to put Texas up 33-22. That gave the senior 1,001 points. He followed that up with a 3-pointer.
"It’s an honor to be able to do that," Holmes said. "I’m not trying to force anything."
The Longhorns scored 26 points off 15 turnovers, while the Red Raiders got only 12 off Texas’ 17 turnovers.
"I haven’t counted it but out of the 15 turnovers we had, I would bet 10 were live ball turnovers," Smith said.
Texas: In his first game back after breaking his left wrist, sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor had eight points, four steals and six turnovers in 30 minutes. He averaged 15 points in the Longhorns’ first three games before missing the last 10. After the game, Taylor had an ice wrap on his left forearm and said the wrist was still sore. He credited his teammates for helping him through the game. "I knew it was going to be a tough one," he said. "I know I have to do better going into the game against Oklahoma on Monday. I just got to do better on the defensive end and get my teammates the ball."
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders’ big men got into foul trouble early in the second half. Zach Smith, Norense Odiase and Justin Jamison each had three fouls with 10 minutes left.
Texas hosts No. 18 Oklahoma on Monday night.
Texas Tech hosts No. 17 West Virginia on Monday night.