ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Courtney Ramey and No. 17 Texas offered a glimpse Monday of the Longhorns' potential depth to start the relocated Maui Invitational. Coach Shaka Smart wants to see the defense look a little sharper, too.
Ramey hit the go-ahead driving score with 20 seconds left and the Longhorns survived a pair of final-possession Davidson shots for the win to beat the Wildcats 78-76 in Monday's tournament opener.
Texas (2-0) shot 48% and led nearly the entire second half, yet missed too many free throws and struggled to get stops as Davidson (1-1) shot nearly 57% for the game.
“We've got a long way to go defensively with our guys and 1-on-1 defense,” Smart said. “I think as a team they know that. But certainly learned about our guys’ resolve. They showed good resolve."
Ramey’s score broke a 76-all tie, then the Longhorns came up with a pair of stops. Davidson’s Sam Mennenga missed a contested 3-pointer from the wing, but the Wildcats got another shot when the ball went out of bounds with 3.8 seconds left.
The Wildcats inbounded again to Mennenga, who missed a final 3 for the win with Texas’ Andrew Jones closely defending him. Mennenga turned toward a nearby official at the horn, while Davidson coach Bob McKillop also walked onto the court with arms extended to address officials briefly.
“You obviously have never seen me protest because that was very kind,” McKillop said. “My comment to him after the game was far from a protest. I just asked him very gentlemanly: ‘Do you think he got hit on that last play?’"
Ramey scored 14 points to lead the Longhorns, who had six players in double figures. Mennenga, a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman from New Zealand, had 17 points and five rebounds to lead Davidson.