After seeing their Big 12 opener postponed due to COVID-19 related protocols, the Texas Longhorns turned their attention to the Sam Houston State Bearkats and picked up right where they left off — with another win, topping the Bearkats 79-63 despite a barrage of offensive droughts throughout.
Matt Coleman netted the first of his nine points only seconds into the contest, creating space on a backdoor cut to finish with a layup to open the action, 2-0. Greg Brown III and Courtney Ramey followed suit with an and-one and a three-respectively, to quickly build an 8-0 edge and force an early Sam Houston State timeout.
Ramey picked up where he left off out of the break with another three for an 11-0 edge, which the Bearkats didn’t chip into until Tristan Ikpe connected on a free throw nearly three minutes into the matchup. However, Ikpe’s first point sparked a 6-2 Sam Houston State run as the Texas offense faltered following its fast start, as a forceful dunk in traffic by Jericho Sims provided Texas with its first points since Ramey’s three at the 18-23 mark and served as the only points until the 13:23 mark before a pair from free throws from Brown.
But the early offensive woes continues for Texas, as a 5-of-6 start from the field was followed by an 0-of-5 stretch until Donovan Williams connected on a jumper to increase Texas’ lead to 19-7. Again, this was followed by another brief scoring lapse, as the Horns missed their next three field goals until a three-pointer from Brown increased the edge to 23-9.
A layup from Javion May cut back into the lead to slow the bleeding, but back-to-back jumpers from Andrew Jones allowed the Horns to more than double SHSU’s point total, 27-13, and Ramey built upon that edge on Texas next trip down the floor with a three.
Following the under-eight media timeout, the threes continues for Texas, as Brock Cunningham connected with one of his own, and after Zach Nutall answered, Ramey connected on yet another deep range ball to put Texas ahead by 22 points, 38-16. Terryonte Thomas answered with his own three — his only points of the contest — to spark a 5-0 Bearkats run until a response three from Matt Coleman again increased Texas cushion to a plenty comfortable margin, 41-20. A Jarren Cook three then fell to spark a 6-0 run by SHSU, but Andrew Jones allowed the Horns to enter the half on a high note with a three to increase the lead to 44-26.
Texas picked up where it left off out of the break with a 5-1 run capped by another jumper from Ramey. Nutall answered with a three on the ensuing possession, but Texas quickly sparked another run following a layup from Brown, a drop step dunk from Jericho Sims and a put-back dunk from Brown to cap a 6-0 run for a 55-30 Longhorns edge.
Following a layup response from SHSU, Ramey’s hot streak continued as he connected on his fifth three-pointer in as many attempts to built a seemingly insurmountable second half lead, 58-32. But that spurt was followed by another offensive drought, as nearly four minutes passed before Texas’ next point — a dunk by Kai Jones. Meanwhile, SHSU chipped into the lead, 60-38, only to see Texas respond with another 5-0 run behind three points from Williams, which featured Matt Coleman’s 400th career assist.
But then the Bearkats began to roar back.
Another three from Nutall cut into the lead, sparking what ultimately ended as an 11-0 run capped by yet another three from Nutall, trimming a once-comfortable Longhorns lead to just 65-49. That lead decreased yet again, as SHSU answered a pair of Sims free throws with a personal 5-0 run by Donte Powers to trim Texas lead to 67-54 with less than six minutes remaining to cap a 16-2 Sam Houston State run.
A pair of free throws from Coleman stopped the bleeding a bit, and a three from Brown helped more to that end to help fuel a 10-1 run capped by a thunderous alley-oop from Ramey to Kai Jones to push Texas back into a comfortable position with a 77-55 lead and effectively seal the win to lift the Longhorns to 6-1 on the season.
Brown led the Longhorns with his strongest showing and first double double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards. Ramey added 17 points of his own behind a 5-of-7 display from deep, while Andrew Jones joined them in double figured with 13 points.
Nutall let the Bearkats with 23 points behind a 8-of-18 shooting performance.
Next up, the No. 11 Longhorns will host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-1) Tip-off between the Horns and Pokes is set for 1 p.m. CT on Longhorn Network.