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No. 2 Texas vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff final score: Horns blow out Golden Lions in 88-43 victory

The Longhorns bounced back after Tuesday’s loss to the Fighting Illini.

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 2 Texas Longhorns are back at the Moody Center for a Saturday matchup against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions following Tuesday’s loss to the No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini in New York.

First half

Both teams traded baskets early in the game with Texas forward Dillon Mitchell making two dunks from the dunker’s spot and Arkansas-Pine Bluff hitting 3-of-4 three-point attempts before the under-16 timeout, at which point the Longhorns trailed 13-11.

Texas came out with more intensity on the defensive end after the media timeout, forcing two turnovers and a missed basket, but guard Arterio Morris missed a three and was called for traveling before Pine Bluff hit another three and guard Brock Cunningham hit one of his own from deep and made a layup in transition that forced a timeout by the visitors with Texas leading 18-16.

Both teams hit threes out of the timeout, Mitchell scored at the rim in transition, and forward Dylan Disu scored in the paint as well to give the Longhorns a six-point lead, the largest of the game. But the Golden Lions responded with a tough finish in the lane and a three-point play. Forward Christian Bishop hit 1,000 points for his career on a post play and Mitchell made another dunk on a bounce pass from forward Timmy Allen, the eighth assist on 12 made baskets for Texas, forcing another timeout by Pine Bluff with the Horns leading 29-24 at the 7:42 mark.

A three from Morris extended the lead to eight points as Texas struggled to stop Pine Bluff forward Chris Greene, who started 4-of-6 shooting for the Golden Lions. After creating a second chance with an offensive rebound, Bishop made his fourth straight shot to start the game and three chances on the following possession that produced free throws for Mitchell as Pine Bluff started to tire. Mitchell missed both, but hustle from Cunningham kept the basketball on the Texas side of the court and Bishop earned a trip to the free throw line of his own following the under-four timeout with the Horns leading 36-26.

Bishop made both to hit double digits to go along with seven rebounds — both season highs — in only nine minutes before backcourt defensive pressure forced the Golden Lions to use their third timeout of the first half. Texas ultimately forced a turnover on the inbounds pass and Cunningham hit a three on a kickout pass from Bishop as the Longhorns started to create serious separation with a 15-point lead. Bishop remained aggressive, hitting a driving layup, and Cunningham hit his third three to set his career high with 11 points and mark the second time in his career scoring in double digits. Texas went into halftime with a 46-30 lead.


After starting 4-of-5 shooting from distance, Pine Bluff made only 1-of-7 attempts to end the first half and finished the opening 20 minutes with 11 turnovers that Texas turned into 13 points for the Longhorns. Texas also dominated in the paint with a 24-10 advantage and shared the basketball effectively with 13 assists on 18 made baskets while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. Mitchell, Bishop, and Cunningham combined to score 31 points on 13-of-15 shooting.

Second half

Texas guard Marcus Carr beat the shot clock with a step-back jumper to open the second half for the Longhorns and then banged home a three before guard Tyrese Hunter scored a layup to push the lead to 21 points two minutes into the second half. At the under-16 timeout, Texas led by 21 points after Mitchell split free throws on a trip to the line.

When Disu made a layup on an assist from Carr out of the timeout, Pine Bluff used its fourth timeout. The reset seemed to work, as the Golden Lions went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 17 points, but Morris finally got another three to fall to end the surge, Hunter made a layup, and Cunningham made a reverse layup as the lead went back above 20 points. Prior to the under-eight timeout, Allen made a layup and Mitchell had a fast-break dunk to go up by 28 points.

The lead went over 30 points on a dunk by forward Alex Anamekwe and a floater by Carr as the Longhorns completely dominated a stretch that continued with Anamekwe hitting a three and Mitchell driving baseline for a reverse dunk. With five minutes left, walk-on Gavin Perryman checked into the game and the Texas lead quickly went over 40 points on a post move by Disu.

A thunderous dunk by Morris capped the impressive performance by the Longhorns in the 88-43 victory that featured 59.7-percent shooting from the field, 40.9-percent shooting from three, a 52-19 advantage in points in the paint, and a 23-6 edge in assists.

Texas finished the game on a 27-2 run as Pine Bluff was 1-of-17 shooting down the stretch.