No. 16 Texas Gets By UMass
Feb. 5, 2000
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Chris Mihm stood right in the way of Massachusetts' comeback bid.
The 7-foot Mihm blocked a school-record eight shots, scored 18 points and had 12 rebounds as No. 16 Texas defeated Massachusetts 68-57.
The Minutemen trailed by 20 points early in the second half before closing within six.
"We knew they'd make a run at us in the second half, but we kept our poise," Mihm said.
Lawrence Williams hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Texas (15-6). Gabe Muoneke added 16 points.
"If we could play the whole game like we played the second half, we'd beat a lot of teams," said Kirkland.
Texas controlled most of the game, but a pressing Massachusetts defense helped the Minutemen sneak back to within 51-45 with 7:30 left on a dunk by Kirkland and 3-pointer by Crooks.
"I wasn't pleased with our 24 turnovers," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "But I like the way we responded when they came at us in the second half and against their pressure."
Texas went ahead 41-21 with 17:13 left on a dunk by Muoneke. A pair of 3-pointers by Mack nudged Massachusetts to within 49-40 with 10:45 left.
Two Texas fast breaks, four points by Muoneke, and two foul shots by Mihm pushed the Longhorns' lead back to 59-47 to end an 8-2 run with 4:54 left.
Yet Massachusetts again came back to within 61-53 with 57 seconds left on consecutive baskets by Kirkland. Unrattled, Mihm sank two free throws.
"We attacked better in the second half," said Massachusetts coach Bruiser Flint. "Of course, when Mihm blocks shots, you tend to get a little tentative."
The Longhorns broke away to 17-9 lead with an eight-minute, 12-0 run that
was built on six points by Mihm and capped by Muoneke's basket with 6:10 left.
The top big man for Massachusetts, 6-10 Kitwana Rhymer, left early in the first half with two early fouls, giving Texas favorable matchups for Mihm. He seized the chance and scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half.
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