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No. 2 Texas thumps No. 15 Fairfield in opening round, 70-52

The Longhorns earned a chance to send the Erwin Center out with a win on Sunday.

Texas basketball

Another deep NCAA Tournament run remains a possibility for head coach Vic Schaefer and his No. 2-seeded Texas Longhorns following a thorough if not quite complete destruction of the No. 15-seeded Fairfield Stags, 70-52, on Friday at the Erwin Center.

Freshman forward Aaliyah Moore came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points, hitting all 10 of her free-throw attempts, and adding 10 rebounds. Standout freshman guard Rori Harmon scored 10 points, but was more impressive managing the game from her point guard position, dishing 11 of the 16 Texas assists in the game. Senior forward Lauren Ebo scored 10 points as well as the Longhorns dominated in the paint, 38-14, and in bench points, 38-8, keyed by Moore’s contributions. Behind 11 steals, the Horns forced 22 turnovers by the Stags at a rate of 32.8 percent.

Texas never trailed in the game and led by as many as 24 points, taking control in a 25-9 second quarter to lead 39-18 at halftime. Fairfield hung tough in the third quarter, outscoring the home team by eight points, but Schaefer’s team never allowed the Stags within double digits in the second half. When the margin was cut to 10 points on a fast-break layup with 7:17 remaining, Texas responded with a 13-0 run to slam the door.

On Sunday, Texas faces off against No. 7 seed Utah, which defeated No. 10 seed Arkansas 92-69 on Friday.