A second-half comeback effort from Texas basketball in a critical home matchup at the Moody Center on Jan. 29 against the No. 4 Houston Cougars ultimately fell short in overtime.
Texas and head coach Rodney Terry battled back against the highest-ranked team in the Big 12 to push the Cougars to the brink at the Moody Center. But Houston closed out the game with some big rebounds and key defensive stops in overtime to top the Longhorns 76-72.
Houston controlled this game from the outset, having a double-digit lead at a couple of points in the first half. It looked the Cougars would have their way in the second half after taking a 33-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Dillon Mitchell and Texas basketball come up just shy of No. 4 Houston in OT
But the Longhorns were able to get back in the game with a 40-32 edge in the final 20 minutes. Texas found a spark on offense, thanks to a big second half from sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell, senior guard Max Abmas, and senior big man Dylan Disu.
Mitchell led the way for the Longhorns on the offensive end in the second half, scoring 12 of his 16 points in the final 20. Disu also scored in the double figures just in the second half.
Abmas, meanwhile, found his scoring rhythm with some big buckets for the Longhorns in second half and in overtime. He scored the game-tying And-1 field goal that knotted things at 70 between the Longhorns and Cougars late in regulation.
Rebounding bits the Longhorns again
Among the driving factors that caused Texas to lose this game to Houston was the battle on the boards. Texas was outrebounded by double-digits, including getting outpaced on the offensive glass 15-8 by the Cougars.
Houston was able to play its game on Texas's home court tonight. The best rebounding team in the Big 12 amassed nearly 50 rebounds against the Longhorns, including grabbing some key boards late to seal the win in overtime.
Houston had a combined 11 offensive rebounds in the second half and overtime against Texas.
Texas has now been outrebounded by a margin of at least eight in each of its last three losses in the Big 12.
Despite Mitchell giving the Longhorns a team-high 10 rebounds and his career-high seventh double-double of the season, Texas was getting outworked and outpositioned by Houston's many sound bigs and forwards.
Texas has let some big opportunities slip on their home court in the Big 12 this season
Following the overtime loss to the Cougars, Texas is 1-3 at the Moody Center in the Big 12 this season. Two of those three losses came by six points or fewer against Houston and the UCF Knights.
Texas needed to start at least 2-2 at home in the Big 12 to set itself up well with its NCAA Tournament resume for the stretch run in conference play. Now, the Longhorns must win four of their final five games at the Moody Center in the Big 12 to ensure a winning record on home court in conference play.
Terry and the Longhorns also had a chance to get a marquee win at home in the Big 12 against Houston. A win like this could've served as a confidence-builder before more tough games against ranked opponents, including a road test against the No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth on Feb. 3.