Texas dumps Colorado State amid ugly shooting efforts

Mar 21, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Tyrese Hunter (4) puts up a layup in the first half of the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

CHARLOTTE — Max Abmas and Dylan Disu scored 12 points apiece and Texas overcame its own offensive struggles to control Colorado State 56-44 in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Region on Thursday night.

Chendall Weaver came off the bench for Texas to add 11 points, making 5-of-7 shots when most other players had trouble converting. The game was defined by miserable shooting along with turnovers, with Colorado State committing 19 to 12 for the Longhorns.

Seventh-seeded Texas (21-12) meets either second-seeded Tennessee or 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s in Saturday’s second round.

Isaiah Stevens and Joel Scott both had 10 points for No. 10 seed Colorado State (25-11), which was playing for the second time in three nights. Despite missing 41 shots from the field, the Rams collected only 13 offensive rebounds on its 29.3 percent shooting from the field.

The Longhorns struggled at the free-throw line, though they made four of their last six attempts.

Texas, which lost two of its previous three games, had trouble getting much flow in the second half, managing only 12 points in the first 13 minutes to but carrying a 39-32 lead into the late-game stretch.

Colorado State apparently caught the bug of offensive doldrums from Virginia on Tuesday night in the First Four meeting. The Rams won that game 67-42 while holding Virginia to 14 points in the first half, but they couldn’t get rolling in this one.

Texas crawled out to a 27-11 halftime lead despite shooting 0-for-8 on 3-pointers until Abmas broke that drought on the last shot of the half to complete an 11-0 run that spanned nearly six minutes.

The Rams didn’t score in the final 6:49 of the half. Given that Colorado State broke out to an 8-2 lead, the last 15 minutes of the half measured up as 25-3 in favor of the Longhorns.

Colorado State was 1-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half, so the shady shooting was rampant. The Rams shot just 18.5 percent from the floor in the half.

The Rams ended the season by going 5-5 across their final 10 games.

–By Bob Sutton, Field Level Media

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