AUSTIN, Texas — When Jevon Carter’s reverse layup gave West Virginia new life at the end of regulation, Texas defender Kerwin Roach slumped his shoulders and nearly unraveled.
In overtime, he made amends.
Handing out two of his eight assists and playing tighter defense, Roach helped the Longhorns bolster their NCAA resume with an 87-79 upset.
“I was really mad at myself,” Roach said of Carter’s tying basket. “I kind of slipped and he made a good move.”
Carter, after catching the inbounds pass with 6.5 seconds left, raced across the timeline and spun free by running Roach into a screen from Sagaba Konate.
As the disappointment threatened to consume the guard nicknamed “Snoop,” Texas coach Shaka Smart interceded.
“Snoop was really upset that we gave up that basket, but I said, ‘Next play, man, next play.’ He hung in there, put the right look on his face, and attacked.”
Pressure called off
The Longhorns utilized only seven players and relied heavily on two ballhandlers who barely left the court. Yet, a matchup ripe for Press Virginia’s wear-them-down cumulative effect didn’t materialize.
Texas committed only two turnovers during the final 18 minutes, playing without regard for fatigue as WVU deployed an 11-man rotation.
Fearful the full-court traps were yielding too many open shots and creating not nearly enough discomfort, Huggins and his staff settle for playing more man-to-man in the second half.
“Texas was straight-lining us so much that we backed off a little,” Huggins said. “We tried to contain them, but we didn’t do a good job.”
The Longhorns made 57 percent overall and 11-of-19 from 3-point range, many of those uncontested.
Carter sets assists mark
Beginning the day with 195 assists — two shy of the single-season school mark held by Fritz Williams — Carter handed out six. He picked up his record-setter at the end of the first half by feeding Wes Harris for a long 3-pointer.
“I don’t think Carter cares about that — he cares about winning,” Huggins said. “I’m proud as hell of him that he doesn’t care about that and that he just wants to win. He’s not into all the individual stuff. He’s a guy that lines up and wants to win.”
“I’ve backed off of this team practice-wise, more than any team I’ve ever coached. And it’s probably a terrible mistake.” — Bob Huggins, second-guessing himself after shortening practices to keep his players rested
Notes, numbers, etc.
After posting winning road records in Big 12 play the past two years, West Virginia finished 4-5 this season. … The foul disparity was huge — 26 to 13 — exacerbated somewhat by the Mountaineers fouling four times in the final 71 seconds of overtime. … After Texas enjoyed a 28-11 edge in free-throw attempts, West Virginia ends the regular season having shot 621 to the opponents’ 743.