Preview: Texas at Nebraska
(AP) — Texas’ school-record 11 consecutive Big 12 victories has included another impressive streak.
The third-ranked Longhorns haven’t trailed in just over 264 minutes and will try to add to that Saturday in their final regular-season conference matchup with Nebraska.
Fast starts have helped Texas on its unbeaten Big 12 run, and the Longhorns (23-3, 11-0) scored 12 of the game’s first 16 points during a 73-55 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
They’ve gotten the first jump on six consecutive opponents and last trailed in the first half of a 61-46 win over the Cowboys on Jan. 26.
In its 440 minutes of Big 12 play this season, Texas has been behind for 32:34, with 29:20 of that total coming during a comeback win at then-No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 22.
“Our biggest concern is trying to keep the foot on the pedal. We haven’t been in a situation where we’ve been behind. We don’t want to start it now,” said forward Gary Johnson, who had a team-best 17 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday.
Texas also never trailed in last season’s matchup with Nebraska and turned a 27-point halftime lead into one of its most lopsided Big 12 victories, 91-51. Jordan Hamilton had 16 points and was one of five players in double figures during the Longhorns’ eighth win in nine games against the Cornhuskers (17-8, 5-6).
The lone loss over that span, however, was in the previous trip to Lincoln – 58-55 on Feb. 7, 2009 – and Nebraska enters this matchup having won back-to-back conference games for the first time this season.
The Cornhuskers allowed an average of 56.0 points during those victories and remain the Big 12’s top defensive team at 58.8 allowed per game, just ahead of Texas’ 59.5. Nebraska, though, has given up 66.4 points a contest during conference play, while Texas has allowed an average of 54.6 on 36.4 percent shooting.
That has helped Texas win 10 of its Big 12 games by 11 or more points. The Longhorns’ streak is their longest in league play since beginning 13-0 in the Southwest Conference in 1962-63.
Nebraska, however, might have some confidence after ending a 14-game road losing streak. The Huskers needed some help to snap that slide with a 59-58 win over Oklahoma on Wednesday.
Sooners guard Cade Davis’ late 3-pointer was ruled a two-pointer after time expired. Jorge Brian Diaz paced Nebraska with a season-high 17 points.
The Huskers are also 15-1 at the Devaney Sports Center with the lone loss coming to then-No. 2 Kansas on Feb. 5. They prevailed in their other home matchup with a ranked foe, 57-48 against then-No. 13 Texas A&M on Jan. 29.
Lance Jeter, averaging a team-best 11.0 points, was the only player in double figures with 16 during the previous home game, a 65-54 win over Oklahoma State last Saturday.
Diaz is the only other player averaging in double figures for Nebraska with 10.4 points per game, while the Longhorns have four such players led by Hamilton, who is fourth in the Big 12 with 18.7 a contest.
Texas, 4-2 in Lincoln during coach Rick Barnes’ tenure, hasn’t won six consecutive Big 12 road games since March 1, 2003-Feb. 10, 2004.
In Barnes’ 12-plus seasons in Austin, the Longhorns have won 10 of 12 overall matchups over Nebraska, which heads to the Big Ten after this season, and lead the series 16-5.