Andrew Jones was held to just two points
The first half of this game was the Andrew Jones show. The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard had 16 points on 5-8 shooting and 3-5 from distance. He outscored the rest of his team by a point and came within three of equaling what the Red Raiders had managed to put on the board.
Entering the game, 40 of his 82 made baskets this season were 3-pointers but for some reason, Tech left him open time and again in the first half. That was indicative of the overall defensive lapses that defined the first twenty minutes of this game and which were also problematic against Oklahoma.
But in the second half, the Red Raiders clamped down on Jones. Holding him to just two points on 1-6 shooting and 0-3 from behind the arc, Tech prevented the star of the first half from scoring a point in the final 17 minutes of the game.
The change was that Tech started to crowd Jones before he even touched the ball thus preventing him from being such a catch-and-shoot weapon. Whoever was guarding him was tasked with staying within a few feet, even when the ball was on the other side of the floor, rather than sagging into the lane as they did in similar situations in the first half.
Texas and Jones also helped Tech’s cause because there seemed to be less ball movement in the UT half-court offense after halftime. For most of the Horns’ possessions, Jones was parked in the corner waiting for a pass that never came because he was being closely monitored.
Additionally, preventing turnovers also took easy offense away from Jones. In the first half, he had five points in transition including a circus over the shoulder, back-to-the-basket layup on which he also drew a foul from Moretti.
In the end, Jones disappeared when Tech made its run. With just two points, one assist, and two turnovers after the intermission, he was a -12 when on the floor and that was a huge difference from the way the first half unfolded when he was the best player in the arena.