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Texas Beats Iowa State in Kabongo's Return

Horns prevail 89-86 in double OT thriller
Michael Corcoran, 9:36pm, Wed. Feb. 13, 2013
photo by courtesy of UT
Myck Kabongo

Don't know if any team has won to improve its record to 11-13 in such high drama. This Longhorns basketball team has tested positive for NIT- they've got as much chance making the NCAA tourney as Manti Te'o going on a blind date- but on Wednesday night they fought hard against an Iowa State team that thrashed them earlier in the season and came out of it with

a 89-86 victory in double overtime.

The game was noteworthy at the start because it marked the return of sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who spent the first 23 games of the season on the bench dressed like Sidney Poitier in "To Sir With Love" because he was suspended for taking a free flight to Akron.

But it was the old sad sack Horns- Sleepy McClelland, Julien Lewis and Javan Felix- who pulled it out at the finish. Usually these guys go slapstick in the last three minutes of a close game, but they were clutch tonight.Ioannis Papaprerou, the Greek hustler, hit the shot of the night, a three-point bomb with a second left in regulation to tie the game.

The Greenhorns shot 50.8% from the field, about 10 points higher than average, and alot of that had to do with Kabongo, who fouled out in the first overtime with 13 points and 7 assists. Besides pushing the ball hard up the middle, which opens up the rest of the floor, Kabongo seemed the pull the team's energy level way up. It was like being at a somewhat boring party and then George Clooney arrives. Instant uplift.

So the big question is, will the Horns go on a season-ending tear and save Coach Rick Barnes' streak of 14 straight March Madness appearances with the Longhorns? Or is it already too late? That's two questions, but for the first time all year, Texas hoopsters have some answers.

Next game is Saturday night at Kansas. Win that one, Horns, and you may be back in business.

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