The Texas Longhorns cruised to an easy victory over Saint Francis of Pennsylvania, topping the Red Flash 78-46. Texas was led by a super-efficient breakout performance by freshman big man Myles Turner, who scored 25 points on only 12 shot attempts.
Turner was fantastic, taking advantage of a Saint Francis defense with no players taller than 6-7. He got going early, hitting turnaround jumpshots from the post, before eventually stepping out to drill a few threes. When it was all said and done, the Texas freshman connected on 8-9 from two point range and was 3-3 from beyond the arc. There is just not a whole lot that a defense can do against a 6-11 player who nails three pointers in transition.
Texas played the game with a depleted backcourt. Isaiah Taylor is out indefinitely after injuring his wrist last week against Iowa. Backup Javan Felix also was held out of the game due to an injury. With Texas' two primary ball handlers on the bench, the point guard duties were shared by Demarcus Holland, Kendal Yancy, and Damarcus Croaker.
Holland and Yancy made for a highly effective back court duo. Yancy played his best game of the year, scoring 12 points, including hitting 2-3 from three point range. Holland for his part functioned well as a primary ball handler, taking care of the ball, which is something he has struggled with in the past.
Early in the game, the Longhorns came out looking to press their advantage inside. Texas fed Cameron Ridley early, and the Texas center responded by scoring 16 points in 19 minutes. As the game wore on, Saint Francis coach Rob Krimmel elected to send more defenders at Ridley to try to counter Texas' size advantage.
Leading the way for the Red Flash was guard Malik Harmon, who was able to get going from long range, and ended up with 15 points on the night. Saint Francis' undersized low post scorer Earl Brown was unable to get good looks against the big Texas front line, and finished the game 2-12 from the floor.
For Texas, things weren't particularly smooth on offense all of the time. Jonathan Holmes struggled, repeatedly mishandling the ball on the way to a three point, four turnover night. Ridley also committed four turnovers of his own.
The Longhorns next game is Sunday night, at Connecticut.