They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that would seem to apply to blown leads, too. No. 12 Texas surrendered a 19-point second-half lead at home in a stunning collapse on Saturday, falling 84-82 to No. 13 West Virginia.
The Longhorns’ meltdown was spurred at least in part by internal strife after Texas stars Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones, the leading scorers, got into a skirmish during the game. The two got into a tense verbal exchange with 15:52 remaining in the game and had to be separated. Texas was outscored 34-18 from there.
Ramey scored a career-high 28 points despite the feud, 15 of which came in the second half. Jones scored nine points on 16 shots. But it was clear pre-feud and post-feud that Texas was a different team. It completely fell apart at the seams down the stretch and looked totally out of sorts as West Virginia mounted a run to take advantage of it.
The Mountaineers outscored Texas 41-29 in the second half behind an onslaught of shots from sharpshooting Sean McNeil. McNeil, a junior whose calling card this season has been as one of the most combustible shooters in the game, was held scoreless in the first half before pouring in 16 in the final 20 minutes.
And so continues Texas’ troubles. After its 10-day COVID hiatus last month, it is now 2-4 in league play. It has been plenty close to flipping that script — outside a 14 point loss to No. 2 Baylor its other three wins are by a combined 11 points — yet it continues to flub opportunities to build off its strong early-season resume.
For West Virginia, though, it’s a bit of revenge after falling to Texas in the last meeting on a last-second shot from the Horns. Texas had a shot at the buzzer to send it to OT but Jericho Sims’ shot at the rim fell short and a potential foul was deemed a play-on.