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Andrew Jones lift No. 6 Texas over No. 11 Virginia Tech

Mar 18, 2022; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Timmy Allen (0) shoots against Virginia Tech Hokies guard Storm Murphy (5) during the first half in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Jones scored 21 points to lead a balanced offensive attack as sixth-seeded Texas turned it on in the second half for an 81-73 win over 11th-seeded Virginia Tech on Friday afternoon in an NCAA Tournament East Regional first-round game in Milwaukee.

The Longhorns advance to play third-seeded Purdue in the second round on Sunday. The Boilermakers rolled past Yale 78-56 in the first round.

Sean Pedulla led Virginia Tech (23-13) with 19 points while Keve Aluma scored 13 and Hunter Cattoor contributed 12.

Texas (22-11) used a momentum changing 3-pointer from beyond half-court by Carr at the first-half buzzer to set the table for a dominating second half. The Longhorns had a 34-32 lead at halftime and never let Virginia Tech see the front again, using a 15-3 run over the middle of the second half to turn a 46-42 advantage to 16 points after two free throws by Courtney Ramey with 8:26 to play.

The Hokies never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Carr added 15 points and 9 assists, Timmy Allen hit for 14 points, Christian Bishop poured in 11 and Ramey tallied 10 points for the Longhorns, which went 10 for 19 from beyond the arc and snapped a three-game losing streak.

It was Texas’ first NCAA Tournament win since 2014.

Texas went in front for the first time on Bishop’s layup with 10:58 left in the first half, before Virginia Tech leapfrogged back on top at 29-27 after a jumper by Nahiem Alleyne with 1:11 remaining.

The first half ended with three lead changes in the final six seconds. First, Jones canned his fifth 3-pointer of the half to put the Longhorns up; then Storm Murphy hit two free throws with two seconds remaining to grant Virginia Tech the lead. And finally, Carr banked in a 3-pointer from 60 feet away at the buzzer to allow Texas a two-point advantage at the break.

Jones led all scorers with 17 points before halftime; Aluma paced the Hokies with eight points in the half.

–Field Level Media