Texas’ Max Abmas drills game-winner to lift No. 19 Longhorns past Louisville

Max Abmas’ near-buzzer-beater at Madison Square Garden kept Texas undefeated

Max Abmas’ near-buzzer-beater at Madison Square Garden kept No. 19 Texas undefeated on the season
Max Abmas’ near-buzzer-beater at Madison Square Garden kept No. 19 Texas undefeated on the season. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today)

The Texas Longhorns kicked off Feast Week the right way on Sunday afternoon.

No. 19 Texas, thanks to a near buzzer-beater from Max Abmas at Madison Square Garden, beat Louisville 81-80 on Sunday to open the Saatva Empire Classic.

Abmas caught a pass at the top of the key after an inbounds play with less than four seconds left in the game and the Longhorns down by a point. Instantly, Abmas took three hard dribbles to the right and pulled up over Louisville guard Skyy Clark. Despite fading away awkwardly, Abmas drilled the shot with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

Abmas finished with 14 points and two assists in the win for the Longhorns, and he shot 6-of-19 from the field. Kadin Shedrick led Texas with 27 points and seven rebounds, and Ithiel Horton added 10 points off the bench. They were the only three Longhorns to score in double figures. Texas shot just 2-of-17 from the 3-point line.

Abmas is in his first season with the Longhorns after he spent his first four seasons at Oral Roberts. He averaged 21.9 points last season with the Golden Eagles while helping them to a 30-5 record and their second NCAA tournament berth in the past three seasons.

Clark finished with a team-high 20 points and five rebounds in the loss for the Cardinals (2-2). Tre White also finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, and Ty-Laur Johnson added 14 points off the bench. The Cardinals, who beat UMBC by a point in their season-opener and fell by 10 to Chattanooga in their second game, hung with Texas the entire way Sunday. The game had 21 lead changes and 14 ties, and Clark hit a 3-pointer with less than 90 seconds left to give Louisville the lead late.

With the win, Texas advanced to take on No. 5 UConn in the Saatva Empire Classic championship game on Monday night. The Huskies, who won the national championship last season, rolled past Indiana 77-57 in their game earlier on Sunday in New York. The Hoosiers will take on Louisville in the consolation game of the four-team event.