Bahamian collegiate player Kai Jones and the nationally number four ranked University of Texas Longhorns (10-2, 4-1 Big 12), could not hold off a late rally by the number 15 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-3, 4-2 Big 12) as they fell 79-77 on their home court at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Wednesday night.
The lost snapped a six-game winning streak for Texas that started back on December 9, 2020 with a home victory against Texas State University. Both of their losses this season came in home games.
Jones finished with a season-low three points and only managed to take two shots in the game – both in the first half. He made one of those attempts and was able to split a pair of free throws. The forward/center also picked up three rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
The Bahamian made his first appearance of the game when he was subbed in with 16:20 left in the first half. In just over a minute, he made a slam dunk to put his team up 11-5 with 15:08 left.
The Longhorns went into the second half with a comfortable 48-38 lead, and looked like they were going to roll to a seventh straight win.
The game took a turn in the second half as the Longhorns watched their 10-point lead wither away. The Red Raiders went on an 11-3 scoring run to get to within two points, 62-60, with 9:36 remaining in the game.
Jones and his team went back up by as much as seven points; but the Red Raiders came back again, and with 3:51 remaining in the game, Kyler Edwards gave the Red Raiders their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. The Longhorns regained the lead and led 77-73 with 1:42 remaining in the game. Like they did all second half, the Red Raiders refused to go away, tying the game at 77 with 36 seconds remaining.
After a missed jumper by Jones’ teammate Matt Coleman III with 17 seconds left, the Red Raiders got the rebound and set up a final shot.
The Red Raiders did not call a timeout and then turned to former Georgetown University guard Mac McClung to take the last shot. McClung went into isolation and hit what turned out to be a dagger from the just inside the three point line to put his team up 79-77 with three seconds left on the game clock. It was a dramatic ending to his 22-point scoring night – a game high.
Coleman’s last second desperation shot missed and the Red Raiders held on for the victory.
Andrew Jones led the way for the Longhorns with 20 points.
There is little rest for Shaka Smart’s Longhorns as they host another Big 12 team, Kansas State University, on Saturday at 7 p.m. local time.
There are other Bahamians who will be in action this weekend around in a loaded National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) basketball schedule. Bahamian Radshad Davis and the Florida International University (FIU) Panthers (8-4, 2-2 Conference USA) were in action last night at home at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Florida. The Panthers were set to play the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls (5-6, 0-2 Conference USA), but the score was unavailable up to press time. Davis and the Panthers will play the Owls again tomorrow night, this time on the road at the Abessinio Court in Boca Raton, Florida. That game will get underway at 4 p.m.
Charles Bain and the Robert Morris Colonials (3-3, 2-1 Horizon) return to the court tonight for the first time since New Year’s Day. It will be the first of a two-game Horizon Liberty Conference clash against the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Flames (5-4, 2-2 Horizon) at the Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago, Illinois. The game tonight gets underway at 8 p.m. Tomorrow’s game will be at the same location, starting at 6 p.m.
After a two-week pause, Bahamian guard Franco Miller and the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Eagles (5-2, 0-0 ASUN) will see action for the first time in 2021. They will play back-to-back games against the Bellarmine University Knights (3-5, 0-2 ASUN) tonight and tomorrow night at home at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. Both games will start at 7 p.m. It will officially be the start of the Eagles’ conference play for the 2020-2021 season.