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Buzzer-beater gives Texas biggest win for Smart

Javan Felix puts up the winner with less than a second left in the game, giving Texas an 84-82 victory over No. 3 North Carolina.

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Javan Felix puts up the winner with less than a second left in the game, giving Texas an 84-82 victory over No. 3 North Carolina.

AUSTIN, Texas — The ball bounced right to Javan Felix for an easy catch, step, shoot and swish.

And a win. A really big one for Texas and new coach Shaka Smart.

The senior guard's uncontested jumper at the buzzer sent the Longhorns to a wild 84-82 victory Saturday over No. 3 North Carolina, giving Smart a signature moment a month into his tenure at Texas.

"I just had a free walk-up to the ball," Felix said. "I knew I hit it."

Felix was left unguarded as players from both teams watched Isaiah Taylor's 3-pointer in the final seconds bounce off the rim. The ball dropped straight to Felix, who calmly put it in. After a few minutes of reviewing replay video, the game officials ruled the basket good.

Felix finished with 25 points for Texas (6-3) and made five 3-pointers. Marcus Paige scored 20 to lead the Tar Heels (7-2), who started the season No. 1.

For Smart, the game was a chance to unveil the potential of a Texas program that enjoyed many winning seasons under Rick Barnes but has mostly struggled in the postseason for most of the past decade.

Texas fired Barnes after another early NCAA Tournament exit last year to bring in Smart, whose swashbuckling "havoc" style of uptempo, pressure basketball had carried Virginia Commonwealth to a Final Four and built his reputation as one of the top young coaches in the country.

But Smart's start at Texas has been slow. Long road trips to China and the Bahamas before Thanksgiving led to three losses in the first five games and left Smart questioning his players' confidence.

"There has been some growing pains, some transition pains," Smart said. "It validates for those guys the work they've put in."

Texas showed no fear of the Heels from the start, fighting back from early deficits behind Felix and the big plays of freshmen Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach. The Longhorns also had a 20-4 offensive rebounding advantage, leading to 21 second-chance points.

NO. 2 KANSAS 82, OREGON ST. 67: Wayne Selden scored 22 for the Jayhawks (8-1), who rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit in their annual trip to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

NO. 5 KENTUCKY 72, ARIZ. ST. 58: Jamal Murray scored 12 of his 17 in the second half including two of the host Wildcats' five 3-pointers that helped them pull away. Leading 32-31 at halftime and looking somewhat lost with senior forward Alex Poythress temporarily sidelined with a hyperextended right knee, Kentucky (9-1) regrouped and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers after halftime.

NO. 6 MARYLAND 77, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 56: Melo Trimble had 18 points and the host Terrapins (9-1) eventually found their shooting form in the second half to pull away. After struggling to garner a 35-29 halftime lead, Maryland made its first eight shots from the field after intermission.

NO. 7 OKLA. 96, ORAL ROBERTS 73: Buddy Hield had a career-high five steals to go with 30 points for the host Sooners (7-0), who won by at least 17 points for the sixth straight game. Hield was 9-of-15 from the field to fall one point short of his career high.

NO. 11 PURDUE 95, YOUNGSTOWN ST. 64: Freshman Caleb Swanigan and senior A.J. Hammons scored 15 each to lead four players in double figures for the host Boilermakers. Purdue is 11-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 team won its first 14.

NO. 12 XAVIER 65, NO. 23 CINCINNATI 55: Myles Davis had a season-high 17 points and the host Musketeers (10-0) took an 18-point lead and beat their crosstown rival for the third straight time. Xavier matched the best start in school history and extended its domination over the Bearcats (8-2), winning the annual game for the seventh time in nine years.

NO. 15 PROVIDENCE 74, BRYANT 67: Drew Edwards scored a career-high 17, including five 3-pointers, to lead the host Friars (10-1). Usual starter Ben Bentil came off the bench to score 16 as Providence played without preseason All-America Kris Dunn, who missed the game with a stomach bug.

NO. 18 BUTLER 94, TENN. 86: Reserve Kelan Martin had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Martin scored all of Butler's points during a 13-4 run in the second half that kept the Volunteers at a distance and sealed the win for the Bulldogs (8-1).

NO. 22 LOUISVILLE 86, E. MICH. 53: Damion Lee scored 16, all in the second half, and the host Cardinals (7-1) shot 53 percent from the field. Louisville shot better than 50 percent for the seventh time this season.

BOISE ST. 74, NO. 24 OREGON 72: Anthony Drmic had 19 points and the host Broncos (7-4) overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to beat the Ducks (7-2) for the first time in six tries.

WICHITA ST. 67, NO. 25 UTAH 50: Zach Brown had 14 points to lead a balanced offense for the host Shockers (5-4), who made 10 of 25 3-pointers. The Utes (7-2) had 19 turnovers and only 14 field goals.

INDIANA 105, MCNEESE ST. 60: James Blackmon scored 24, including five 3-pointers, for the host Hoosiers (8-3), who won their third game in a row.

UCF 75, FAU 61: A.J. Davis had career highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the host Knights (5-3).

ECKERD 67, ROLLINS 62: Drushaun McLaurn had 27 points and seven rebounds for the visiting Tritons (9-1, 4-0 Sunshine State), who rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit.

BARRY 87, SAINT LEO 85: Lawrence Watt had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the host Lions (6-4, 2-3 SSC), who fell short after nearly erasing a 19-point deficit in the final six minutes.

LONG BEACH ST. 87, TAMPA 60: Marcel Robinson had 15 points for the visiting Spartans (3-6), who were outscored 49-31 in the second half.


NO. 3 N. DAME 88, TCU 72: Kathryn Westbeld had 12 points and 14 rebounds and led five players in double-figure scoring for the Irish (9-1) in their second game ever in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

NO. 7 OREGON ST. 69, IDAHO 44: Sydney Wiese had 16 points to reach 1,000 for her career and added 10 rebounds for the host Beavers (7-0).

NO. 18 DEPAUL 80, NO. 15 TEXAS A&M 66: Megan Podkowa had 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, and the Blue Demons (7-3) outrebounded the host Aggies (7-3) 52-36, their most rebounds in a game since 2011.

NO. 24 ARIZ. ST. 61, NO. 19 SYRACUSE 54: Kelsey Moos returned from a four-game injury absence and scored 13 to lead the visiting Sun Devils (5-3). Arizona State had a 44-23 rebounding over the Orange (6-3).

NO. 22 CAL 87, NEBRASKA 80, OT: Kristine Anigwe scored 29, including five in overtime, and grabbed 10 rebounds for the host Golden Bears (7-2).

BARRY 64, SAINT LEO 49: Chelsy Springs had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the host Lions (3-5, 1-4 Sunshine State), who shot 30.5 percent (18-of-59) from the field.

BENEDICT COLLEGE (S.C.) 73, TAMPA 61: Juliana Cavallaro had 27 points for the visiting Spartans (4-6), who kept it close until the Tigers outscored them 19-9 in the third quarter.

Buzzer-beater gives Texas biggest win for Smart 12/12/15 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2015 11:04pm]
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