The first half started sloppily, with the Longhorns clinging to a 12-8 lead and the two teams committing 12 turnovers between them in the first 10 minutes. But then Texas took off. A J'Covan Brown steal and lay-in was followed by a scrappy bucket from Dogus Balbay. Jordan Hamilton drilled a three-pointer and slid in a post bucket and just like that, Texas led 21-8. The lead eventually grew to 25-8 on another Hamilton jumper, and the Longhorns took a 33-18 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Hamilton scored 11 points in the stanza, and most came when Texas was building its lead. Balbay and Cory Joseph each had eight.
That lead was quickly chopped to 11 on the first couple of buckets in the second half, but the Longhorns went on an 18-4 run to run away with the game.
Jordan Hamilton led the Longhorns in scoring with 25 points and tied for the team lead in rebounding by pulling down nine boards. Dogus Balbay dropped in a career high 14 points, while J'Covan Brown chipped in 12 points, including 10 in the second half. Gary Johnson scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Antuan Boodle was a positive for Sam Houston State (2-1), scoring 16 points and grabbing nine boards. Gilberto Clavell scored 15 and had seven rebounds, though he was held to 6-22 shooting from the field. Overall, the Texas defense stifled the Bearkats into a 29.2 shooting percentage, including a 1-10 night from behind the arc.
"I've been really well-blessed," Barnes said about making 500 wins.
The Longhorns (4-1) will next take on Rice on Saturday.
* Jordan Hamilton continued his high-scoring tear, pumping in 25 points. Hamilton is averaging 24.6 points per game on the season and has only failed to hit the 25-point mark once in five games. His "down" game was a 19-point performance against Louisiana Tech. Hamilton is also Texas's second leading rebounder on the season with 7.6 boards, and Texas coach Rick Barnes praised his effort defensively.
* Dogus Balbay's performance topped the 13 points he scored against Texas Tech last January. While he hasn't exactly been a scoring menace, it's worth nothing that his 6.8 points per game are nearly double the 3.8 points per game he averaged last year while starting 22 games and playing in 27.
* The Longhorns struggled in the first half with turnovers, turning the ball over 12 times with multiple charges. In the second half, the Longhorns only committed two turnovers. Not surprisingly, then, the Longhorns were also able to buff up their scoring in the second half, putting in 51 points, as opposed to the 33 points scored in the first half.