Texas freshman point guard Courtney Ramey hit a jumper with 49 seconds to play in overtime to lift the Longhorns to a wild 73-71 over Arkansas on Friday in the Armed Forces Classic, played at Soto Gym on the grounds of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Arkansas, which was playing its season opener, led 63-60 with nine seconds to play after Daniel Gafford hit one of two free throws. But the Longhorns’ Kerwin Roach II, playing in his first game of the year after sitting out Texas’ opener while suspended for a violation of team rules, canned a 3-pointer with one second remaining to send the game into overtime.
The extra period went back and forth before Ramey’s jumper put Texas up for good at 72-71. The Longhorns (2-0) added a free throw from Elijah Mitrou-Long with 22 seconds left, but he missed the back end, giving Arkansas a chance to tie or win in its final possession.
The Razorbacks, under duress by the Texas defense, missed three shots over the last seven seconds.
Roach led the Longhorns (2-0) with 18 points while taking 11 rebounds, with Jericho Sims adding 14 points, and Dylan Osetkowski scoring 11 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Ramey and Mitrou-Long hit for 10 points each for Texas.
Gafford’s 20 points and 12 rebounds led the Razorbacks, while Isaiah Joe scored 17 points and Jalen Harris and Mason Jones scoring 11 each for Arkansas.
Texas fell behind 13-5 in the early going but roared back to take a 14-13 lead on an Osetkowski 3-pointer with 13:34 to play in the first half. The Longhorns then forged a 27-15 lead in the strength of a 13-2 that was capped by Jase Febres’ 3-pointer at the 9:00 mark.
Arkansas answered with a 10-4 run that culminated with a 3-pointer by Desi Stills to cut the Longhorns’ lead to 31-25. After Texas rebuilt its lead to 36-26, Gafford and Jalen Harris nailed jumpers, the latter with three seconds remaining, to pull the Razorbacks to within 36-30 at halftime.
Sims led the Longhorns with nine points in the half, with Ramey hitting for eight off the bench. Gafford paced Arkansas with nine points, as the Razorbacks outshot 40 percent to 38 percent.
Texas shot more 3-pointers (19) in the first half than twos (15) and made more as well (7-6).
Texas returns to the court on Monday when it hosts Louisiana Monroe in the regional round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The Razorbacks head home to play UC Davis, also on Monday.
—Field Level Media