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No. 8 Texas takes down Cal Baptist, 68-44

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The Horns finish the Abe Lemons Classic with blowout wins in all three games.

Timmy Allen
Texas basketball

The No. 8 Texas Longhorns continued to roll through the overmatched portion of the non-conference schedule with a 68-44 victory over the Cal Baptist Lancers to close out the Abe Lemons Classic with a third straight blowout win.

Senior forward Timmy Allen and senior guard Andrew Jones led the way, each scoring a game-high 15 points. Allen hit 5-of-9 shots from the field and 4-of-6 shots from the free-throw line while stuffing the stat sheet with eight rebounds (three offensive), three assists, and three steals. Jones set his season high with 5-of-10 shooting and five assists of his own.

In the second half, Jones had perhaps the best individual sequence of the game, finishing through contact on a fast break for an And-1 dunk and then finding senior forward Christian Bishop for a dunk.

Bishop set his season high as well with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and hit all four free-throw attempts, matching the production of senior guard Courtney Ramey, who became the 40th Texas player to score 1,000 career points with a turnaround jumper in the lane. Ramey added five rebounds and two steals in a strong all-around effort.

Texas made its mark defensively in the game, holding a strong Cal Baptist offense to 30.4 percent from the field, including 1-for-9 shooting from three-point range, in the first half while forcing 12 turnovers. The Lancers finished with 23 giveaways on the day, leading to 25 points for the Longhorns, and only hit 2-of-16 attempts from three-point range (12.5 percent) despite entering the game hitting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc.

It was a particularly tough night for standout Cal Baptist freshman point guard Taran Armstrong, who led the nation in assists entering the game, but received a rude welcome to big-time college basketball — 1-of-5 shooting and five turnovers with two personal fouls and only a single assist in the first half. Armstrong played better in the second half, but ended the game with seven turnovers, the single assist, and only six points on 10 shots.

Texas got out to a 9-0 start with post buckets from Allen and junior forward Tre Mitchell, who had already scored in the paint with both hands in the first two and a half minutes of the game. When Ramey hit a three at 16:56, Cal Baptist was forced to call a timeout.

Between the first and second media timeouts, the Lancers found their footing in the game as the Longhorns offense bogged down thanks to missed shots and a shot-clock violation by senior guard Marcus Carr that drew the ire of head coach Chris Beard. During that stretch, Ramey was the only player who scored, hitting a wrong-footed driving layup and finishing through contact in the paint for a three-point play.

And once again, despite the slow pace by Texas, the Longhorns were able to capitalize off turnovers, turning five mistakes by the Lancers into 10 points by the under-12 timeout.

Both teams struggled over the next four minutes — Cal Baptist turned the ball over four times in less than two minutes and Texas suffered a scoring drought of nearly two and a half minutes after a three by Allen. A fast-break layup by Jones finally broke the scoreless stretch at 3:35 to extend the lead to 12 points, the largest of the game. Texas extended the margin to 14 points at the under-four timeout thanks to two free throws by Carr and a three-point play by junior guard Brock Cunningham.

The Lancers missed six straight shots over nearly five minutes as the Horns went on a 12-0 run to open up a 21-point lead and take control of the game before halftime. The scoreless drought finally ended for Cal Baptist with 37 seconds remaining in the half and another shot-clock violation by Carr left Texas with a 35-16 lead at the break on 40.7-percent shooting.

The second half featured another less-than-dominating performance by Texas — the Longhorns only outscored the Lancers 33-28 and allowed the visiting team to shoot 52.6-percent from the field.

The struggles for Carr continued, too, as the Minnesota transfer missed all three of his field-goal attempts and managed a mere two points while committing three turnovers. In the three games of the Abe Lemons Classic, Carr only scored 11 points combined.

Texas trades courts on Monday for a matchup against Sam Houston State at Gregory Gym.