Late 3-pointers help Texas edge Arkansas in OT
FORT BLISS, Texas — Kerwin Roach II made two late 3-pointers to help Texas reach overtime, where the Longhorns did just enough for a
73-71 victory against Arkansas on Friday night in the Armed Forces Classic.
Roach led Texas (2-0) with
18 points. Jericho Sims added
14 points and Dylan Osetkowski had 11 with 13 rebounds.
Arkansas (0-1) got a gamehigh 20 points from center Daniel Gafford, who also had a double-double with 12 rebounds. Isaiah Joe added 17 points for the Razorbacks,
while Jalen Harris and Mason Jones each had 11.
Arkansas trailed, 36-30, at the half, but a 10-0 run midway through the second half allowed the Razorbacks to take a 49-47 lead after a 3-pointer by Joe.
The Razorbacks outscored Texas, 33-27, in the second half, but freethrow shooting kept the Longhorns in it. They went 14-for-20 shooting from the line in the second half and made 4 of 6 in overtime. That allowed Texas to overcome cold shooting, including a stretch of 9:47 without a field goal in the second half.
A dunk by Gafford put Arkansas ahead 62-59 with a minute to play. After an air ball by Texas, Osetkowski made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 62-60. Gafford then missed the second of two free throws to keep the lead to three, setting up Roach’s tying 3-pointer with one second left that forced overtime.
Arkansas began its pursuit of a third consecutive NCAA tournament berth. The Razorbacks, who were one of eight Southeastern Conference teams in last year’s NCAA Tournament, have made the tournament three times in the past four years.
Coach Mike Anderson’s team is looking to add to that with the nation’s No. 25-ranked recruiting class. Arkansas was picked 10th in the preseason SEC poll.
The Longhorns, who also made the NCAA tournament, return four of five starters from last year’s team. Texas was picked fourth in the Big 12 preseason rankings. The Longhorns feature last year’s No. 8-ranked recruiting class.
Texas will continue its non-conference schedule with a home game Monday against Louisiana-Monroe, followed by a home game on Friday against The Citadel.
Arkansas has Saturday and Sunday off before hosting UC-Davis on Monday, which is the first game of the Hardwood Showcase event. All games are at Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks will play Indiana on Nov. 18, Montana State on Nov. 21 and UT-Arlington on Nov. 23 in their other games in the Showcase.