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Longhorns take 2K Classic with win over Cal

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NEW YORK — Running the Texas Longhorns offense is not a heavy lift for Javan Felix, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the junior point guard seamlessly fit in for the injured Isaiah Taylor in Friday’s championship game of the 2K Classic.

Felix contributed nine points in 35 minutes to help No. 10 Texas (4-0) to a 71-55 win over the California Golden Bears at Madison Square Garden. Forward Jonathan Holmes, the tournament MVP, led the Longhorns with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Holmes scored 40 points in the two games

Taylor, who averages 15 points, suffered a left wrist injury in the semifinal game against Iowa on Thursday. The injury isn’t season-ending, according to a Texas spokesman, but will keep Taylor out of the lineup “for an extended period of time.”

Taylor drove to the basket and was hit by Iowa forward Gabe Olaseni before landing on his left wrist. He will be re-evaluated in Austin on Monday. Taylor watched his teammates record the wire-to-wire win wearing a cast on the Texas bench.

Felix didn’t push the ball up court as quickly as the speedy Taylor does, but he managed the game well and kept everyone active. He dished out five assists as all eight Longhorns who played scored.

“He (Felix) got put into that role as a freshman,” said Texas coach Rick Barnes. “At one point he was averaging 36 minutes a game, so we knew he could run the team.

“He (Felix) got a little tired at the end, but we have a lot of confidence in Demarcus Holland and (guard) Kendal (Yancy). We work all of the guards and certainly those guys at the point. But our system is set up if we don’t have a pure point guard, we can have different guys bring the ball up court and get us going.”

The 5-foor-11 Felix, who committed five turnovers, was making his 45th start for the Longhorns and his first this season.

Center David Kravish topped Cal (3-1) with 19 points and guard Tyrone Wallace added 16 points.

“You know you can’t get too high on your wins and too low on your losses,” Kravish said. “You just have to move on. Coach is always telling us it’s not what’s on their jersey or what they’re ranked, it’s about what we bring to the table.”

Cal moved as close as six points, 35-29 early in the second half, before the Longhorns used an 8-2 burst to increase their lead to 43-31 with 15:11 remaining.

The Longhorns blocked eight shots and had 15 in the two tournament games.

“It’s like a five or six-headed monster down there,” Kravish said of the Texas frontcourt. “You cut off the head and they bring three more after you. I don’t know if there is any other front line in college that can match that front line.”

Texas captured its first 2K Classic and is 10-5 in the tournament.

Holmes led the attack for Texas in the first half with 10 points. Felix was just 2 of 7 from the floor. Kravish had 11 points for Cal.

“I don’t know if there is a harder worker in the country,” Barnes said of Holmes. “If people knew just how much time he put into basketball — he literally lives in our practice facility.”

The largest Texas led in the first half was 14 points at 31-17 with 2:26 left until halftime. The Longhorns opened the game on a 14-4 run with four different players scoring.

The Longhorns pushed the lead to 26-12 on forward Connor Lammert’s follow shot with 5:33 left in the first half.

NOTES: Texas was limiting teams to 28.9 percent shooting and nobody had reached 30 percent until Cal finished at 31.3 percent. Texas has held its first three opponents to an average of 53.3 points on a combined 28.9 percent shooting from the field. … The Longhorns blocked seven shots against Iowa in the semifinals of the tournament. … Texas is making its fifth appearance in the 2K Classic. … Friday’s final was the fourth meeting between Cal and Texas. … The Golden Bears had won three of their last five against Top 10 teams going back to the start of the 2012-13 season.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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