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Texas Edges Cincinnati 74-73

Texas v Cincinnati

Max Abmas #3 of the Texas Longhorns attempts a shot while being guarded by Day Day Thomas #1 of the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Fifth Third Arena on January 09, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo: Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Max Abmas hit the game-winning jumper from the right baseline with just under eight seconds left, and forward Dylan Disu posted a collegiate career high with 33 points to lead No. 25 Texas (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) to a hard-fought 74-73 win at Cincinnati (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) in a packed Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday night. This marked Abmas’ second game-winning shot of the season, as he also knocked down the winning jumper in the final seconds during UT’s victory over Louisville (Nov. 19) in Madison Square Garden.

Disu, making his first start of the season in place of graduate forward Kadin Shedrick (back) and in just his sixth game back on the court this year after offseason surgery (left foot), converted 13-of-23 field goals, including 4-of-10 from three-point range, and 3-of-4 free throws. He added a season-high four steals and a season-best six rebounds in addition to two blocked shots and one assist in a season-high 34 minutes. Disu’s previous collegiate high was 29 points during his time at Vanderbilt against Kentucky (Feb. 17, 2021), and his previous high at Texas was 28 in last year’s NCAA Tournament Round of 32 win over Penn State (March 18, 2023).

Abmas posted 15 points (6-14 FG, 3-7 threes), five assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes. He moved into No. 19 on the all-time NCAA Division I career scoring list (2,818 points), passing Kevin Bradshaw of Bethune-Cookman (2,804). Junior guard Tyrese Hunter registered 10 points (4-9 FG, 2-2 FT) and three assists in 31 minutes, and sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell added 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 FT) and four rebounds in 37 minutes.

Texas jumped out to a 10-4 advantage following a Mitchell layup at the 16:41 mark. The Bearcats answered with an 11-0 spurt over the next two-and-a-half minutes to grab a 15-10 cushion after a Simas Lukosius three-pointer with 14:11 left, before the Longhorns responded with a 10-2 run over the next three-plus minutes to take a 20-17 lead following a Disu dunk at the 10:52 mark.

Tied at 20-20, Texas scored seven straight points to build a 27-20 advantage after a Hunter layup with 7:24 left. The Bearcats rallied to even the game at 31-31 following a Jamille Reynolds free throw at the 4:06 mark, before the Longhorns used an 8-2 run to grab a 39-33 lead after a Disu three-pointer with 2:21 left. Cincinnati scored six straight points to draw even at 39-39 following a Dan Skillings Jr. dunk with 48 seconds remaining, before a Disu jumper with 19 seconds left gave Texas a 41-39 advantage at the break.

A Mitchell jumper gave the Longhorns a 49-47 lead at the 13:21 mark, but Cincinnati scored six straight points to grab a 53-49 cushion following a Reynolds dunk with 10:37 remaining. A Skillings Jr. layup gave the Bearcats a 55-52 lead at the 8:52 mark, before Texas answered with a 7-2 spurt to take a 59-57 advantage after a Disu three-pointer with 7:35 left.

A Lukosius three-pointer provided Cincinnati with a 62-61 lead at the 6:19 mark, before the Longhorns used a Disu jumper and an Abmas three-pointer to build a 66-62 cushion with 4:52 remaining. The Bearcats scored five straight points to take a 67-66 advantage after a Jizzle James jumper at the 3:59 mark, and Texas answered with an Abmas layup and Mitchell dunk to go ahead 70-67 with 3:31 left.

Cincinnati used back-to-back turnaround jumpers from Lukosius to take a 73-70 lead with 59 seconds remaining. Disu hit a jumper with 43 seconds left to pull Texas to within 73-72, and John Newman III missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 23 seconds remaining to set up Abmas’ game-winning opportunity. Abmas took a dribble handoff from Disu and worked his way to the right baseline, where he knocked down the game-winner with just under eight seconds left. The Bearcats pushed the ball up the court, but a long-range three-point attempt from Lukosius came up short. 

Texas returns to the court when it travels to face West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 13. Tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. Central (6 p.m. Eastern) at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, and the game will be streamed nationally by Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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