Though the Tar Heels would put up a good fight in the second half, erasing what was once a 19-point first half deficit, the Horns held on, defeating the North Carolina squad by a score of 85-67.
It’s been a tough start to the season for this Longhorn team, who have struggled against weaker opponents and fell to a Division II Chaminade team in this year’s Maui Classic back in November.
Additionally, they have been without their best player, and one of the few who returned this season, point guard Myck Kabongo, who , it was reported at game’s end, will be suspended by the NCAA for the rest of the year for the receipt of illegal benefits.
Regardless, on Wednesday, against one of the most storied teams in college basketball, the Longhorns finally showed some promise.
Texas finally played well on both sides of the ball, shooting 41% from the floor and holding the Tar Heels to 31%. They also forced 20 turnovers. Most importantly, they were able to stand strong and hold on until the end.
You could say this young team grew up a bit tonight.
The Longhorns still have a long way to go; they were far from perfect in the victory. Nevertheless, they finally showed college basketball that, though they are young and inexperienced at this point, they still have the ability to become a dangerous team. Something tells me that this Texas Longhorns squad isn’t the same one we will see come March, even without their standout veteran.