No. 8 Texas meets Northern Colorado, looks to rebound from loss to Gonzaga
No. 8 Texas will look to get back on the winning track when it plays the first game of a five-game homestand against Northern Colorado on Wednesday night in the first round of the inaugural Abe Lemons Classic in Austin, Texas.
The classic is named after the former Texas coach who passed away in 2002 and is part of new Longhorns coach Chris Beard’s attempt to reconnect the program with its past and basketball traditions.
Texas (1-1) heads home after an 86-74 loss at top-ranked Gonzaga on Saturday. As a result of the defeat, the Longhorns dropped from fifth to eighth in this week’s AP poll.
Timmy Allen scored 18 points with six rebounds in the loss, with Marcus Carr adding 11 points and Jase Febres 10 for the Longhorns.
“I wish we’d played better and put a better product on the court,” Beard said afterward. “It wasn’t for lack of effort. We couldn’t have played any worse defensively (than we did) in the first four minutes of the game.
“We played with a lot of grit in the second half and established some things that we certainly want to continue to establish as our journey continues.”
Texas shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half vs. Gonzaga and trailed by 20 points at halftime before cutting the deficit to 11 points three times over the final 11 minutes of the game.
The Longhorns dropped to 0-12 in matchups against No. 1-ranked teams and 0-4 all-time against Gonzaga.
“This is exactly what we could’ve asked for,” Allen said. “Obviously, we wanted to win and this is not the outcome we wanted, but this is something we’ll grow from. We’re going to be tested down the line time and time again, so there is some good to come from this — we’ll just look back on this and just be better.”
Northern Colorado heads to Austin after a 93-53 win at home over Colorado College on Monday.
Dru Kuxhausen paced the Bears with 24 points while Dalton Knecht added 20 and 11 rebounds, and Matt Johnson hit for 11 points as Northern Colorado shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) on its 3-pointers.
The Bears opened the season with two wins and a loss in the Rainbow Classic tournament in Honolulu. Northern Colorado beat Pacific and Hawaii before falling to Hawaii Hilo in overtime.
The play of Daylen Kountz has been one factor in the Bears’ strong start to the season. He’s averaging 17.3 points a game.
“Daylen has been really good, and it starts with his approach,” Northern Colorado coach Steve Smiley said. “He’s been dialed in on a daily basis, and it’s really showing on the court consistently. He’s definitely one of the most talented players in the Big Sky, especially as he continues to get more and more consistent.”
Northern Colorado, which returns all five starters from the 2020-21 season, was picked in the preseason to finish fifth in the Big Sky Conference, with Hume earning a spot on the preseason All-Conference team.
–Field Level Media