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AUSTIN (AP) — Javan Felix scored 20 points and surging Texas beat Texas Tech 69-59 Saturday as the Longhorns got their seventh win in eight games to stay in the thick of the Big 12 race.
Next up for the Longhorns: No. 1 Oklahoma, the only team Texas hasn’t played yet in the league.
Isaiah Taylor added 13 points and eight assists for the Longhorns (16-7, 7-3), who started 1-2 in the Big 12 before their recent push sent them into Saturday just a game out of first place.
Keenan Evans scored 14 points for the Red Raiders (13-9, 3-7).
Texas Tech got within 60-54 on a 3-pointer by Toddrick Gotcher with 4:26 to play. Texas answered with a 7-0 run — a dunk by Kerwin Roach Jr., a 3-pointer by Connor Lammert and another layup by Roach, all assisted by Taylor — that put Texas ahead 67-54.
Texas is 5-0 at home in conference play. The Longhorns’ first matchup with the top-ranked Sooners will be on the road.
Felix scored 14 in the first half, eight in the first two minutes. But Texas Tech had little trouble handling the Longhorns full-court press early as the Red Raiders rallied from an early deficit and traded baskets with the Longhorns for most of the first half.
Texas Tech stayed with Texas early by limiting turnovers and forcing the Longhorns into some sloppy ball handling.
A 3-point play by Felix and a fast break layup by Taylor put Texas ahead 24-23. Tevin Mack made two 3-pointers, including one with 3 seconds left, to give Texas a 36-30 lead at halftime.
Texas looked ready to break the game open early in the second when the lead grew to eight before the Red Raiders rallied again with an 11-5 run that kept them hanging around. But while the Red Raiders could stay close, they couldn’t find the push to take the lead. A 7-0 Texas run, punctuated by a steal and dunk by Demarcus Holland made it 50-41.
Texas has won 20 in a row over Texas Tech in Austin, a streak dating to the 1995-96 season.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are one of the few teams that have managed to force more turnovers than they give up against the Longhorns, one of the best in the country at protecting the ball. The Red Raiders scored 16 points off 15 Texas turnovers.
Texas: The Longhorns got the win with almost no scoring help from its frontcourt. Center Prince Ibeh battled foul trouble the entire game and didn’t even take a shot in 13 minutes on the court. Lammert and Shaq Cleare combined for 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Texas Tech plays at No. 13 Iowa State on Wednesday
Texas plays at No. 1 Oklahoma on Monday.
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