Matt Coleman III scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half as No. 22 Texas rebounded with a dominating 62-45 win over California on Friday in the third-place game at the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Coleman, who had 22 points in the Longhorns’ semifinal loss to Georgetown on Thursday, was the catalyst for Texas’s runaway final 20 minutes.
Jase Febres and Jericho Sims added 12 points each for the Longhorns (5-1), with Courtney Ramey scoring 10 for Texas in the win.
Matt Bradley led all scorers with 22 points — he was 11 of 11 from the free-throw line — but was the only Cal player with more than eight points. The Golden Bears committed 12 turnovers that led to 13 Texas points.
Cal cut the lead to 25-23 on Kareem South’s layup 17 seconds into the second half but the next seven minutes belonged to the Longhorns. Texas scored 18 of the next 25 points by getting baskets from five different players and assumed a 43-30 lead with 12:35 to play.
The Golden Bears (4-2) would not get closer than nine points again.
Texas led 25-21 after a sluggish first half for both teams, with Sims leading all scorers with eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the floor. The Longhorns got all but four of their points from their starting five while Cal had 10 points off the bench to stay close.
Bradley had seven points at the half to lead the Golden Bears but was just 2 of 5 from the floor.
Texas, who didn’t have a free throw in the first half of Thursday’s loss to Georgetown in this tournament’s semifinals, didn’t take a shot from the charity stripe on Friday until the 6:51 mark of the second half — more than 33 minutes into the game.
—Field Level Media