In the final non-conference game of the regular season for No. 20 Texas basketball and head coach Rodney Terry, the UT-Arlington Mavericks came to town as the challenger at the Moody Center in Austin on Jan. 1. Texas got what it needed in a comfortable double-digit victory to tune up the squad on both ends of the floor before Big 12 play tips off on Jan. 6.
The Longhorns played well, all things considered since the team was missing junior guard Tyrese Hunter due to a reported illness (per Jon Rothstein on Twitter/X). This was unfortunate for Hunter to miss the final game before Big 12 play begins. He had his best performance of the regular season in Texas's impressive 72-37 win over the UNC Greensboro Spartans at the Moody Center on Dec. 29,
Kadin Shedrick's 17 points leads No. 20 Texas basketball to double-digit win over UT-Arlington
Hunter's absence was noticeable in the backcourt in the first half of this game for the Longhorns. It took Texas a while to get going in this game, as UT-Arlington kept things close for most of the first half.
But some of Texas's more experienced players stepped up to create more separation for the Longhorns to come away with a comfortable victory by putting UTA away in the second half.
Here are two studs and one dud for the Longhorns from the 79-62 win over UTA at the Moody Center on Jan. 1.
Stud: Ithiel Horton, wing
This might not have been a more important game for any other Longhorns player than the former UCF Knights transfer and super senior wing Ithiel Horton. The sixth-year senior Horton broke out of a slump on both ends of the floor with his first career double-double in this win over UTA.
Horton registered 13 points and 10 rebounds to reel in his first double-double. His 10 boards doubled his previous season high of five.
And Horton's 13 points is the most he's scored in a game for the Longhorns since the second contest of the regular season on Nov. 10 against Delaware State. Horton was red-hot scoring to start the season for the Longhorns, putting up 35 points on better than 50 percent shooting from the field and over 50 percent shooting from deep in the season's first two contests.
This win over UTA saw more of a return to form regarding what we saw from Horton earlier in the season. He shot the ball well from deep, going 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Horton has found his shooting stroke from deep in the last few games. After missing eight consecutive three-point attempts in three-straight games a few weeks ago, Horton has made at least one three-pointer in three consecutive contests while shooting 5-of-12 from deep since Dec. 22.
On the defensive end of the floor, Horton was disruptive to help Texas generate turnovers and active on the glass. He registered one steal and one block in this game. That block was Horton's first of the season for the Longhorns.
The boost that Horton gave the Longhorns with his 10 rebounds (including three offensive boards) helped this squad win the battle on the glass by a margin of 45-35.
This was the type of confidence-building performance that Texas needed from their experienced senior wing Horton to break out of his slump on both ends before Big 12 play starts later this week.