PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Texas is still far away from where it wants to be this season.
But the Longhorns made a lot of progress in their second game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Eric Davis Jr. had 15 points, Cameron Ridley added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Texas fended off a barrage of late rallies to beat Washington 82-70 Thursday in the consolation round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Javan Felix finished with 13 points. The win avenges Texas’ six-point loss to Washington in the Longhorns’ season-opener.
The Huskies (3-2) chipped away at the Longhorns’ 10-point halftime lead for most of the second half, cutting the deficit to as few as three points.
But each time the Longhorns had a response, either knocking down a rally-deflating 3-pointer or getting a timely stop on defense.
Andrew Andrews led Washington with 20 points. Marquese Chriss added 15.
Texas shot 59 percent from the free-throw line in its opening-round loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday. The Longhorns were 30 of 42 (71 percent) on Thursday, and far more accurate down the stretch.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said he thinks Texas played much differently from the breakneck pace it showed in their first meeting.
“They looked at their personnel and maybe really tried to play a little more smash mouth,” Romar said. “Their big guys play more together now. They still push the ball like crazy, but they don’t seem to be pressing as much. They’re playing what seems to me a little more percentage basketball.”
Texas led by as many as 15 in the first half.
The Longhorns turned nine Huskies turnovers into 11 points in the first half, and also got a lift from their reserves, who contributed 22 points.
Washington kept it close by knocking down five 3-pointers.
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