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Texas Advances In NCAA Tournament

Colorado State v Texas

Tyrese Hunter #4 of the Texas Longhorns dribbles against Josiah Strong #3 of the Colorado State Rams during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 21, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina.Photo: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Longhorns put together a dominant first half to help advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore guard Chendall Weaver provided a spark off the bench with 11 points to lead Texas (21-12) to a 56-44 victory over Colorado State (25-11) in a NCAA Tournament First Round game on Thursday night at Spectrum Center. With the win, the Longhorns advance to the NCAA Second Round to face No. 6/6 Tennessee on Saturday, March 23 at approximately 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.

Weaver converted 5-of-7 field goals and added four rebounds (two offensive) and one steal in 29 minutes. Graduate guard Max Abmas posted 12 points and two rebounds in 36 minutes, while graduate forward Dylan Disu tallied 12 points, five rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal in 24 minutes.

The Texas defense was the story of the evening. The Longhorns held Colorado State to just 29.3-percent (17-58) field goal shooting, including a 6-of-24 (.250) mark from three-point range. UT allowed just eight assists while forcing 19 turnovers and posted a 17-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

The 44 points marked the second-fewest allowed by Texas in a NCAA Tournament contest. Thursday’s defensive effort was only topped when the Longhorns posted a 42-40 victory over Wyoming in the 1947 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals (when the NCAA tourney featured an eight-team field).

Colorado State grabbed an 8-2 advantage after a Joel Scott put-back at the 15:16 mark. The Longhorns responded with a 14-0 run over the next eight-plus minutes to build a 16-8 cushion following a Dillon Mitchell dunk with 7:17 remaining.

The Rams trimmed the gap to 16-11 after a Joe Palmer three-pointer at the 6:50 mark, before Texas closed the half on an 11-0 run, capped by an Abmas three-pointer with two seconds left, to take a 27-11 advantage into the break. The Longhorns held Colorado State to 18.5-percent (5-27) field goal shooting, including a 1-of-9 (.111) mark from three-point range, in the opening 20 minutes.

Texas built a 35-19 cushion following a Weaver jumper at the 14:16 mark. Colorado State scored eight straight points to trim the deficit to 35-27 after a Nique Clifford three-pointer with 12:44 remaining, before the Longhorns answered with back-to-back baskets to increase their advantage to 39-27 following a Weaver jumper at the 10:34 mark.

The Rams scored five straight points to cut the gap to 39-32 after a Josiah Strong three-pointer with 8:29 left. Colorado State then pulled within six points (44-38) following a Joel Scott layup at the 4:11 mark, but that was as close as the Rams would get the rest of the night. Texas used back-to-back three-point plays from Disu and Weaver to take a 50-38 lead with 3:08 remaining, and the margin did not dip into single digits in the final three minutes.

The Longhorns will face second-seeded Tennessee in the second round on Saturday.

Colorado State v Texas

Texas Longhorns cheerleaders look on during the second half of a game against the Colorado State Rams in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 21, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)Photo: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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