Texas Escapes with Dramatic Big 12 Tournament Win vs. Mac McClung, Texas TechMarch 12, 2021
Matt Coleman III made a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds left as Texas overcame a pair of 10-point deficits to defeat Texas Tech 67-66 in the Big 12 men's basketball tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
Longhorns big man Jericho Sims then intercepted the Red Raiders' desperation full-court inbounds heave in response to seal the win.
Texas Tech led Texas 66-61 with 4:03 left but went 0-of-6 down the stretch. Texas cut the deficit with a Kai Jones layup and a Coleman layup before the game's final free throws.
Coleman led all players with 19 points and six assists. Sims had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Longhorns, who won despite committing 20 turnovers.
For Texas Tech, Terrence Shannon Jr. led the way with 18 points. Kevin McCullar guided the Red Raiders' defensive effort with six steals to go along with his 11 points. Mac McClung, who paces Texas Tech in scoring, posted just seven points on 3-of-8 shooting.
The 18-7 Longhorns, who are seeded third in the 10-team bracket, have won four straight. Texas Tech, which swept its two-game regular-season series with Texas, fell to 17-10 after its second straight loss.
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Texas Tech G Terrence Shannon Jr.: 18 points
Texas Tech G Kevin McCullar: 11 points, 6 steals
Texas Tech F Marcus Santos-Silva: 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Texas G Matt Coleman III: 19 points, 6 assists
Texas G Andrew Jones: 11 points, 4 assists
Texas F Jericho Sims: 10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks
Coleman's Offense, Sims' Defense Propel Longhorns to Win
It was only fitting that Texas' win ended with Coleman scoring the game-winning point and Sims earning the game-ending steal on a night where the guard's offense and the big man's defense led to Texas' big win.
Coleman scored nine of his 19 points in the final 10:09. He personally went on a 5-0 run to turn a 49-43 Texas Tech lead into a slim 49-48 Red Raider edge with a layup and this three-pointer:
The end of the game was winning time for Coleman, who scored the game's final four points. He spoke with ESPN's Holly Rowe about his mindset at the end:
Coleman's finish may ultimately prove to be a defining moment for he and coach Shaka Smart as Texas looks to keep the momentum rolling in March, as Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports noted:
As for Sims, he starred on the other end, to the point where ESPN color commentator Fran Fraschilla made this mid-game comment:
The Red Raiders only shot 40.0 percent from the field, in part because of Sims' four blocks. He also had 11 of the Longhorns' 38 rebounds to help keep Texas Tech off the glass.
Sims also delivered the game's final blow, preventing a last-second miracle:
Thanks to the Coleman-Sims pair, Texas got the big win and will now look to knock off Kansas in the semifinals.
Shannon, McCullar Pave Way, But Texas Tech Can't Hold On
It was the Shannon and McCullar Show for much of the game, and it looked as though that would be good enough for a big win.
Shannon drilled an early three-pointer to put the Red Raiders up 15-7:
He hit another one later on following a pair of McCullar buckets to put Texas Tech up three early in the second half:
Shannon ultimately hit four three-pointers, and McCullar scored seven of his points in the second half. McCullar in particular was sensational on defense, causing 30 percent of Texas' turnovers. He did a little of everything for the Red Raiders on this night.
However, it wasn't meant to be for Texas Tech. Texas took advantage of numerous cold stretches, and Coleman proved to be too strong down the stretch.
The consolation prize, of course, is that Texas Tech is a shoo-in to make the tournament as an at-large. Head coach Chris Beard's team should have a week to regroup and prepare as it looks to make back-to-back national championship games.
Texas will play No. 2 Kansas in the Big 12 tournament semifinals on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN 2 will air the game.
Texas Tech will wait to hear its name called when the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS.