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No. 17 Texas rolls past Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 63-31 victory

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The visitors needed nearly 12 minutes to score a field goal in a blowout win for the Longhorns.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 17 Texas Longhorns took an early lead and never looked back in an easy 63-31 win against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions on Tuesday evening at the Erwin Center, expectedly trouncing one of the worst teams in Division 1 basketball.

Texas held Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 30.8-percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers — a full third of the possessions for the Golden Lions. Junior forward Tre Mitchell was the only double-digit scorer for the Horns, leading the way with 14 points.

Texas head coach Chris Beard changed up his starting lineup after the disappointing road loss last Thursday, re-inserting senior guard Andrew Jones and giving sophomore guard Devin Askew his first start for the Longhorns. Senior guards Marcus Carr and Jase Febres came off the bench.

Meanwhile, Arkansas-Pine Bluff head coach Solomon Bozeman left second-leading scorer Trey Sampson at home in an effort to hold his junior forward accountable for an undisclosed infraction.

In front of a seasonally-small crowd at the Erwin Center, the game got off to a slow, ugly start — Texas only scored three points on three shots by the under-16 timeout as Arkansas-Pine Bluff turned the ball over three times.

Walk-on Tristen Licon made an early appearance out of the timeout as Jones went on a quick 5-0 with a high-arcing jumper in the lane and a step-back three. Febres and senior guard Courtney Ramey added threes of their own by the under-12 timeout, at which point Texas held a 14-1 lead. The visitors missed their first eight field-goal attempts with five turnovers.

Junior forward Dylan Disu made his Texas debut after the media break and quickly made his presence felt with a highlight-reel block at rim to keep the Golden Lions from recording their first field goal.

A three-pointer with 8:10 remaining broke the drought for Arkansas-Pine Bluff after 11 misses and seven turnovers.

Texas stretched the lead to 27-9 before Arkansas-Pine Bluff started playing more efficiently on offense late in the half with three baskets over a minute and a half, matching their scoring output from the first 16-plus minutes. The Golden Lions finished the opening 20 minutes by hitting four of their final six shots.

At halftime, the Horns led 34-16, leading to a second half full of garbage time during which Texas pushed the margin to as many as 34 points.

Beard’s team travels to Las Vegas on Sunday to face off against Stanford in the Pac-12 US LBM Coast-to-Coast Challenge.