Friday, March 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Texas 85, Oakland 81
By Pat Forde
TULSA, Okla. -- Quick thoughts from Texas' 85-81 win over Oakland Friday afternoon.
Overview: Texas played about 30 minutes of dominant basketball and 10 minutes of shaky basketball in defeating the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland mounted a spirited comeback that got as close as five points in the final minute, and had a Reggie Hamilton 3-pointer spin out that could have cut the deficit to three, but couldn't come any closer. The Longhorns' size played a major factor in limiting Oakland inside.
Turning point: Leading by seven points early in the second half, Texas went on an 11-2 run to boost the lead to 16. Oakland was in serious catch-up mode after that.
Key player: Tristan Thompson won a high-level paint battle with Oakland's Keith Benson, racking up 17 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots.
Key stat: Texas has been a wobbly free throw shooting team this season but made 80 percent of its attempts on Friday, which helped the Longhorns preserve their lead late.
Miscellaneous: Jordan Hamilton's 3-point struggles continued for Texas, but he drove the ball with authority to finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow sophomore J'Covan Brown led the Horns with 21 points and also chipped in six rebounds.
What's next: Texas moves on to the round of 32 to face the winner of Memphis-Arizona. Oakland ponders life without Benson.