No. 7 Texas holds Colorado State to 11 points in first half, wins 56-44 to advance to Round 2

Thu, Mar 21, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

No. 7 Texas holds Colorado State to 11 points in first half, wins 56-44 to advance to Round 2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Max Abmas and Dylan Disu each scored 12 points, and No. 7 seed Texas held Colorado State to 11 points in the first half en route to a 56-44 victory on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Longhorns (21-12) will meet the winner of second-seeded Tennessee and No. 15 St. Peter's on Saturday.

Isaiah Stevens and Joel Scott paced the Rams (25-11) with 10 points each. The Rams shot 29% from the field.

Colorado State, which held Virginia to 14 first-half points in their First Four game on Tuesday, jumped out to an 8-2 lead before the wheels came off.

The Rams missed 18 of their next 19 shots and scored just three points over the final 15 1/2 minutes of the first half. Texas closed the half on a 25-3 run to take a 27-11 lead into the locker room after Abmas hit from downtown at the buzzer.

Colorado State became only the 10th team in tournament history to score 11 points or less in the first half. The last time it happened was in 2008 when UNLV led Kent State 31-10 at halftime in a first-round game.

The game was billed as a matchup of two of the nation's top points guards in Abmas and Stevens, who competed against each other in high school in the Dallas area and went on to have highly productive five-year college careers combining for more than 5,400 points.

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But both struggled, combining for five points on 2-of-16 shooting from the field in the first half.

When Stevens finally knocked down his first shot in the second half the crowd gave him a standing ovation and a Bronx cheer.

Despite the ugly first half, the Rams would battle back to cut the lead to six after Texas' Brock Cunningham was whistled for a flagrant one foul for an elbow to the head and Scott scored off a dish from Stevens with four minutes left.

But the Longhorns thwarted the rally and Chendall Weaver pushed the lead back to 12 when he scored on a driving layup and drew a foul for a three-point play.

BIG PICTURE

Colorado State: The Rams had won five of six games entering this one, but could not have imagined such a bad shooting day. They've made the NCAA Tournament two of the last three seasons, so the future is looking brighter.

Texas: After getting bounced in their first-round game in the Big 12 Tournament against Kansas State, the Longhorns responded with a strong defensive effort. Texas lost in the Elite Eight last season, but is eager to get back.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

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