Wednesday was a difficult, emotional day for Texas basketball.
During the day, the school announced the terrible news that sophomore Andrew Jones had been diagnosed with leukemia.
On Wednesday night, with heavy hearts, they faced a tough matchup with 16th-ranked rival TCU. It took two overtimes, a go-ahead free throw from a 39 percent foul shooter and a missed layup at the buzzer from TCU, but the Longhorns came away with a hard-fought 99-98 win at home.
And as soon as it was over, the emotions of the day poured onto the court.
— Kil (@Kil889) January 11, 2018
“Our guys really wanted to win for Andrew,” Texas coach Shaka Smart told ESPN after the game. “He’s the one that’s been on our minds and in our hearts. I’m really proud of the way they fought. I hope Drew’s listening right now. I hope he knows we love him.
“Andrew’s the best fighter on our team. He’s got a fight ahead of him but I know he’s really gonna fight. Our guys really fed off of his spirit tonight.”
The postgame emotion on the floor carried on as the pep band played “The Eyes of Texas” while teammates carried Jones’ jersey and tears welled up in Smart’s eyes.
— Chris Bennett (@chrisgb00) January 11, 2018
Five players scored in double figures for Texas, led by Eric Davis, who logged 22 points. Matt Coleman added 17 points and 12 assists while Jericho Sims, the aforementioned 39 percent free throw shooter, hit 1-of-2 free throws with 5.9 seconds on the clock, enough to secure the final margin of victory.
Kenrich Williams led the Horned Frogs with 26 points, 23 of which came after halftime, and nine rebounds. Jaylen Fisher finished with 13 points and six assists, but missed the would-have-been game-winning transition layup at the buzzer.
But on a night like Wednesday night, it didn’t seem fair for a shot like that to sink the Longhorns.