AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Marcus Carr scored 11 points and had four steals as No. 12 Texas used a smothering defense and a relentless fast break to defeat Houston Christian 82-31 on Thursday night.
The Longhorns (2-0) took a 16-0 lead in the first five minutes. Texas forced 21 turnovers in the game, including 12 steals, resulting in 32 points.
Texas had a 27-0 advantage in fast break points.
“We want to push the ball,” said newcomer Dillon Mitchell. “If we go out and run, we’re a dangerous team.”
Sir’Jabari Rice scored 11 points for Texas. Mitchell had 10 points and 12 rebounds, including eight of the Longhorns’ 21 on offense. They scored 19 second chance points.
“We want to be one of the best teams in the country when it comes to smashing the boards,” Mitchell said. “That was a big emphasis.”
Timmy Allen had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Tyrese Hunter had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Dylan Disu, who spent much of last season playing while recovering from knee surgery, looked sprightly, scoring eight points and making two blocks, one of them by chasing a fast-breaking Brycen Long.
“This is a great game, man,” said coach Chris Beard.
The Longhorns were strong on the inside, producing 52 points in the color and overtaking Houston Christian 56-33. But Texas made just 3 of 22 3-point attempts and missed their first 14.
“We’ll shoot the ball better,” Beard said. “I’m not worried.”
Texas took a 39-12 lead at halftime as Houston Christian (0-2) made 16 turnovers. The Longhorns scored 30 points in the color but missed all 11 of their 3-pointers during that period. And it didn’t matter.
“Their pressure — they’re so good defensively,” said Houston Christian coach Ron Cottrell.
Houston Christian: Tristan Moore led Houston Christian by eight points. The Huskies shot 21.7%. The huskies never gave themselves a chance. They missed their first five shots and committed seven turnovers while quickly falling wide. “Obviously they came out and flashed us,” Cottrell said.
Texas: The Longhorns advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament by beating Virginia Tech last season, Beard’s first as the school’s coach. But they had some flaws, including a lack of superior athletics. The addition of the 6-foot-8 Mitchell signals an improvement in this area. During a less than two-minute stretch in the first half, Mitchell sliced along the baseline to dunk a pass from Hunter, ran down Pierce Bazil to block a fast-break layup attempt from behind and converted an offensive rebound into a layup.
LONGHORNS GREETS DARIUS LEE
Texas honored Darius Lee, the Houston Baptist star who was shot dead June 20 in his hometown of New York City. The Longhorns gave Houston Christian players jerseys with Lee’s number 23 on them.
“It was very special to see that,” Cottrell said. “We’re seeing too much right now across the country where people are losing friends, family and teammates to gun violence. It’s hard to put into words the emotions we went through.”
Beard said he appreciates his players who came up with the idea.
“It meant a lot to me,” Beard said.
Houston Christian welcomes champion Christian, an NCAA Division II team from Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Monday.
Texas hosts No. 2 Gonzaga on Wednesday. Gonzaga defeated Texas 86-74 in Spokane last season.
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