Inside the numbers behind Monday’s top performances
1. Texas held Texas A&M to just 30.9 percent from the field in a 69-49 win. It was the Aggies’ worst shooting performance at home since a 2001 loss to Kansas State. A&M leading scorer Khris Middleton was held scoreless on 0-for-9 shooting, which continued a rather amazing stretch for the Longhorns' defense. Texas has held each of its past four opponents under 36 percent from the field. Three of those games were against ranked teams, and three were also on the road. Combined, those four teams have shot 33.3 percent against Texas, including 20.0 percent from 3-point range. Since a Dec. 5 loss at USC, Texas has won its past five true road games. That includes wins at Michigan State, Kansas and now Texas A&M, all top-20 teams at the time. In front of their own fans, those five teams have shot 33.4 percent from the field and 15.9 percent from long range.
2. Texas is one of 10 remaining teams unbeaten in conference play. The Longhorns are 7-0 in league play for the first time in 33 years. All seven wins have come by double-digits, with the closest being an 11-point victory at Kansas. Texas is outscoring conference opponents by an average of 18.7 ppg, second only to Belmont’s 22.2 in the Atlantic Sun. The Big 12 record for ppg differential in conference play is 19.3, set by the 1998 Jayhawks, who went 15-1 in league play. This season’s UT squad had held Big 12 opponents to a 36.0 field goal percentage, which would be a conference record. Conference opponents are now shooting just 19.0 percent from 3-point range. Not only would that be a Big 12 record, but no team in any conference has done better in league play in the past 15 years. Saint Joseph’s held A-10 opponents to a 24.4 3-pt FG pct in 2004, which is currently the best in the past 15 years.
3. Georgetown shot 47.8 percent from the field in its 62-59 win against Louisville. However, that number doesn’t even come close to telling the story. After a first half in which the Hoyas shot just 31.0 percent, they hit 13 of 17 shots (76.5 percent) after halftime. Following up his first scoreless performance since his freshman year, Chris Wright scored a season-high 24 points. Wright had 16 of those points in the second half on 4-for-7 shooting. While Wright led the second-half charge, the rest of the team was certainly accurate. Hoyas other than Wright were 9-for-10 from the field in the second half. In the first half, those same players shot just 22.7 percent.
4. Kyle O’Quinn flat out had a game in Norfolk State’s 110-108 double overtime win against Coppin State. The junior center finished with a career-high 37 points, including a pair of free throws to break a 108-108 tie. He also tied a career-high with 19 rebounds and added six blocks. It’s the first 35-15-5 game by a D-I player since Austin Peay’s Drake Reed in 2009. However, no one in the past 15 seasons has put up a line of at least 37-19-6. O’Quinn had a solid line if you just look at his numbers after halftime: 25 points and 10 rebounds. The reigning MEAC Player of the Week, he’s now averaging 29.0 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 4.0 bpg in his past three games.
5. Northern Arizona came up with a big 65-54 win against Northern Colorado, which had entered the game 7-1 in the Big Sky. What makes this one interesting is that the Lumberjacks won despite shooting 26.7 percent from 3-point range. Northern Arizona came into this one as the most accurate 3-point shooting team in the nation at 44.7 percent. Last night’s performance brings them down to 43.8 percent, still the best in the nation. In fact, NAU is on track to be the most accurate 3-point shooting team since Illinois State shot 44.0 percent in 2003.