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No. 12 Texas vs. Houston Christian final score: Horns smash Huskies, 82-31

The Horns took care of business against the Huskies at the Moody Center.

NCAA Basketball: Texas-El Paso at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 12 Texas Longhorns are back at the Moody Center for another midweek matchup, this time against the Houston Christian Huskies as head coach Chris Beard’s team prepares for a big-time tilt against the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs next week in Austin.

Starting lineup

  • Sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter
  • Senior guard Marcus Carr
  • Senior forward Timmy Allen
  • Freshman forward Dillon Mitchell
  • Senior forward Dylan Disu

Within the first two minutes, the Longhorns forced a timeout by the Huskies after a 6-0 start that included four offensive rebounds and a fast-break dunk thrown down by Mitchell on a lob from Carr.

When Texas came out of the break with another offensive rebound, they’d secured all five of their misses. During that stretch, Houston Christian only managed one shot while turning the ball over four times.

By the under-16 timeout, Texas led 14-0 after a shot-clock violation during which Houston Christian was only barely able to get into its offense as the turnovers jumped to six, including four steals by the Horns, with four misses. Texas turned those turnovers into eight points and scored 12 of its first 14 in the paint.

It wasn’t until the 13:17 mark that the Huskies scored their first basket after missing their first six shots — at the next television timeout, the margin was 18-2. The most impressive highlight of the first 10-plus minutes of playing time came when Mitchell cut baseline, caught a bounce pass from Hunter, and dunked over a defender, part of a 6-0 run by the Longhorns to take a 24-4 lead at the under-eight timeout.

A putback by Mitchell with 7:26 remaining was his seventh offensive rebound, one more than the total by Houston Christian (seven). An appearance by Texas walk-on Gavin Perryman ahead of the under-four timeout marked the start of extended garbage time. And while the Horns led 31-10 at that point, they’d also missed their first 11 three-point attempts and turned the ball over seven times — hardly an ideal start given questions about the team’s shooting ability from distance.

Texas finished the half with a 7-0 run, including a layup by Hunter just before the buzzer, to take a 39-12 lead into the halftime break. Hitting a three-point shot still hadn’t happened and the turnovers were up to nine, but the Horns did have a 19-2 advantage in points off turnovers, a 30-6 advantage in points in the paint, and a 13-0 advantage in fast-break points, in addition to forcing 15 turnovers.

Second half

Recovering from a turnover on a bad pass, Disu blocked a layup attempt at one end and then ran the court to finish a lob from Carr with a layup in the most notable action of the first four minutes of the second half.

Then a fast-break layup by Carr after a block by Allen pushed the lead past 30 points for the first time ahead of the under-16 timeout.

At the 13:22 mark, senior guard Sir’Jabari Rice broke the streak of 14 straight missed threes as the Texas lead eventually stretched to 35 points after a short jumper by senior guard Brock Cunningham following an offensive rebound. When Rice made two free throws thanks to a technical and Carr hit a short jumper in the lane, the Horns were on a 9-0 run at the under-12 timeout.

After the next media timeout, the freshmen flashed with Morris driving for a dunk and Mitchell hitting on a nice move in the paint for a 72-21 lead. Then freshman forward Alex Anamekwe got into the mix, taking a steal the distance for a layup, his first basket in college.

The walk ons got into the action, too, as redshirt freshman forward Cole Bott and redshirt freshman guard Gavin Perryman both hit threes, their first career baskets, giving the walk ons more made three-pointers than the scholarship players before the Horns closed out the 82-31 victory.