Although the Warhawks have been lighting it up from behind-the-arch under coach Keith Richard over the past year, Louisiana-Monroe shot a season low 25 percent from three point range on Monday. The Longhorns length and balanced offensive attack was ultimately too much for the Warhawks to handle for a full 40 minutes.
In a first half where both teams traded scoring runs, Texas was able to grab hold of a one point lead heading into the break thanks to some stellar defense late in the half. The Longhorns defensive pressure was the story of the first half causing nine Warhawk turnovers that resulted in 11 points.
Trailing early in the half by seven points, the Warhawks were able to take advantage of a 10-0 run to keep the score close. Louisiana Monroe out-hustled the Longhorns for much of the first half holding an advantage on the glass despite Texas having the size and length advantage.
In the second half, the Longhorns made a defensive adjustment to playing a 2-3 zone for the majority of the period. This adjustment held the Warhawks without a field goal for over six minutes of action. The Longhorns capitalized with a 16-0 scoring run to put the game out of reach. Texas ended the game scoring 20 points off of 15 turnovers.
Monroe senior forward Travis Munnings showed flashes of why he could be playing professionally at the conclusion of his collegiate career. He made several contested shots in the first half when his team needed a score. Munnings has the strength and size to be a problem for opponents as he can both shoot over defenders or finish through contact at the rim. On Monday, he was tasked with covering larger opponents on the defensive end such as Dylan Osetkowsi and Kamaka Hepa. He was up for the challenge limiting how far either man was able to drive him into the painted area. Munnings ended the game with 15 points and eight rebounds.
A marvel on the defensive end of the court, the Longhorns’ Matt Coleman was tied to the hip of shifty guard Michael Ertel all evening causing him take tough shots throughout the game. Coleman has quick feet and good instincts defensively allowing him to avoid off-ball screens and jump passing lanes. With the ball, Coleman has the tendency to do things too quickly or recklessly which results in bad decisions from time-to-time. He is an above average finisher at the rim who is not afraid of taking on contact from a bigger defender.
With his second double-double performance in as many games, Dylan Osetkowski had an impact on the game in every area. A good athlete for his size, he is quick enough stay in front of athletic wings as well as hold his own in the paint defensively. Osetkowski was a key cog in the success of the Longhorns’ press defense as the main defender on the inbound. Osetkowski has superior vision when his back is to the basket finding teammates cross court for open shots. His catch-and-shoot three-point shot needs to improve as his success from deep range has waned since the early part of last season. Osetkowski finished with 12 points and ten rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Texas (3-0) will host The Citadel this coming Friday (11/16) as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational regional round. Louisiana Monroe (3-1) will travel to Michigan State on Wednesday (11/14) to take on the Spartans.
This article was written by Justin Ullestad, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.