RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Andrew Jones scored 19 points and Dylan Osetkowski added 17 Tuesday night and Texas beat VCU in Shaka Smart’s return to the Richmond school, 71-67
Smart, who coached the Rams for six seasons and won 163 games as their coach, claimed career victory No. 200.
Texas (6-2) led 57-38 with 12 minutes left, then almost gave the game away. VCU (5-4) used a 25-5 run to take the lead at 63-62.
Mohamed Bamba made a pair of free throws with 1:34 remaining — Texas’ first points in more than four minutes — to give the Longhorns the lead back, and Osetkowski followed a VCU miss with a 3-pointer.
After a free throw by Mike’l Simms for VCU, free throws by Kerwin Roach II and Eric Davis Jr. pushed Texas’ lead to 69-64.
De’Riante Jenkins hit a 3-pointer for the Rams with 18 seconds left, but Davis sealed it for Texas with a pair of free throws with 13.8 seconds on the clock.
THE BIG PICTURE
Texas: The Longhorns were 0-11 in true road games last season and picked a very difficult venue to play their first true road game this season. When VCU took the lead with 3:51 remaining, the noise was deafening at the Siegel Center, but two free throws by Bamba seemed to calm the Longhorns.
VCU: The Rams are an improving 3-point shooting team and got themselves back in the game from beyond the arc. Khris Lane made four 3-pointers in the second half and De’Riante Jenkins made one with 18.5 seconds left to get them within 69-67.
Texas is back home against Michigan next Tuesday.
VCU faces Seton Hall in the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey.