|"We got beat handily. It was just like the game last year when we handled them easily. But we lost tonight to a team that could win it all. We didnít guard them well and we got off to a bad start. A big part of that was our poor play, and they played great. They shot it great. They were awesome. And the physicality; there was no match tonight. They were bigger, stronger, longer, more athletic, and their three, four, and five guys dominated our big guys.
"We were up 17-16, and the turning point was the way we finished the first half. We were doing fine, and then we missed numerous looks. We got as good three-point shots early against their zone than they made against us, but they made them and we missed them. But the way we finished the first half was very poor, especially to go down nine, and especially the way they got the last basket of the first half. I think that deflated us going into halftime.
"Offensively, Julian was obviously the best player for us. But even with that being said, Julian would be the first to admit if you play 29 minutes and you donít get a rebound in a game in which thereís some boards to be had, he didnít play great. I thought Russell competed hard. We had guys compete, but we just didnít play well. It was a good lesson for us. When their three main bug guys get 25 rebounds and our four main big guys get a total of seven, thatís the biggest difference in the ball game.
"Itís evident that we have done good. The guys should be pleased with how much we have improved. But to play at the highest level, weíve still got a long ways to go. Granted, Texas played beautifully. A lot of energy in the building. It would have taken a great, great effort to come down here and win the game. I thought we had it in us, but I think it was good for us to know that thereís another step we have to take. We defended well, we rebounded well the majority of the season, and tonight in a game that had to be ugly for us to win when theyíre shooting it that good, we didnít do the things we had to do to win the game. We still have a chance to go 13-3 in the league and hope we get help. The seasonís not lost. There are a lot of teams out there who would like to be one game out of first place in a power conference. So the seasonís not lost. But if it was going to happen, it was probably good that it happened this way because it was definitely an eye-opening experience for our guys to know thereís a lot of work to do."
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