Men's Basketball

Missed call, late 3s help Texas hold off UT Arlington in overtime

Texas guard Isaiah Taylor scored 21 points in the second half and overtime Tuesday night against Kennedy Eubanks and UT Arlington.
Texas guard Isaiah Taylor scored 21 points in the second half and overtime Tuesday night against Kennedy Eubanks and UT Arlington. AP

In a tense game that saw 15 lead changes, UT Arlington took its best shot at Texas on Tuesday night, taking the Longhorns into overtime before succumbing to a pair of late 3-pointers in a tough-to-swallow 80-73 loss.

But if it weren’t for a controversial call, the Mavericks (5-2) might have avoided overtime altogether in securing their first win over Texas in school history.

Kevin Hervey drained a long jumper in the first half that was ruled a 2-pointer on the floor, but it became clear on television replays that Hervey’s foot was behind the 3-point line.

But since officials didn’t originally call it a 3-pointer, they couldn’t go back and review the play to make an accurate call.

“[The officials] said because they called it a 2, they could not go back and look at it,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “If they would have called it a 3, I guess they could. I really don’t understand. It’s a simple thing to go back and review the play, but I guess the way the rules are written they have to follow the rules.”

“It’s unfortunate for our guys and the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.”

And while there’s no guarantee that one point would have been the difference — surely Texas would have played accordingly — it’s one point that might have avoided an overtime loss in one of the tightest games of the season.

The Mavericks still went into the Frank Erwin Center — where Texas (3-3) is 193-26 since 2002 — and almost won their third straight $100,000 “money” game.

“I’m proud of them for how hard they played tonight,” Cross said. “I didn’t even realize we outrebounded them by 13.”

The Mavericks outscored Texas 21-15 in second-chance points and held a lead for 21 minutes. But that doesn’t change that the Mavericks shot just 32.9 percent from the floor, and were a ghastly 5 of 29 from 3-point range.

Any offensive momentum they thought they had after the Rice victory was gone by the second half.

“We didn’t play quite as together as a basketball team in the second half,” Cross said. “We’re really good when we move the basketball, and we stagnated a bit in the second half.”

The Longhorns, meanwhile, rebounded from a 10-point first-half deficit and fought back in a second half that saw nine lead changes and neither team able to take more than a five-point advantage.

Isaiah Taylor scored all 21 of his points in the second half and overtime, driving into the paint and forcing the Mavericks’ big men into foul trouble. He carried the Longhorns down the stretch, and almost won it outright if it weren’t for Jorge Bilbao’s block on the final play of regulation.

Texas got two huge 3-pointers from Connor Lammert and Eric Davis Jr. in the final minute of overtime to secure the win.

Hervey nearly responded, but his 3-pointer bounced in and out and Texas grabbed the pivotal rebound. Hervey finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, which snapped UTA’s four-game winning streak.

UT ARLINGTON (5-2) — Bilbao 2-4 4-6 8, Hervey 5-17 5-6 15, Neal 2-16 2-2 7, Charles 4-10 2-2 12, Jones 2-6 4-6 9, Eubanks 1-1 0-0 2, Hawkins 0-2 0-0 0, Wilson 2-5 4-4 8, Pallas 2-4 1-1 5, Pope 3-5 0-0 7. Totals 23-70 22-27 73.

TEXAS (3-3) — Lammert 3-9 0-0 9, Ridley 3-5 1-3 7, Taylor 4-8 13-17 21, Holland 2-3 1-2 5, Felix 7-15 0-0 18, Mack 2-5 0-0 5, Yancy 1-2 0-0 3, Davis Jr. 2-5 0-0 6, Roach Jr. 2-4 2-3 6, Cleare 0-0 0-0 0, Ibeh 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 26-56 17-26 80.

Halftime—UT Arlington 3, Texas 27. End Of Regulation—Tied 67. 3-Point Goals—UT Arlington 5-29 (Charles 2-6, Pope 1-2, Jones 1-4, Neal 1-9, Hawkins 0-1, Hervey 0-7), Texas 11-31 (Felix 4-11, Lammert 3-8, Davis Jr. 2-4, Yancy 1-2, Mack 1-4, Taylor 0-1, Roach Jr. 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—UT Arlington 46 (Hervey 15), Texas 33 (Ridley 10). Assists—UT Arlington 14 (Hervey, Pope 3), Texas 15 (Taylor 6). Total Fouls—UT Arlington 25, Texas 22. A—9,646.