Brown Leads Longhorns to Opening Night Win

J'Covan Brown tied his career high with 28 points and dropped eight assists as the new-look Texas Longhorns ran away from Boston University 82-46 in the Regional Round of the TicketCity Legends Classic.

The Longhorns returned just two players from last year's team, two non-starters in Brown and Alexis Wangmene. And the feeling from the get-go was that this team would lean heavily on Brown's offense.

"He is smart," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "He reads defenses well.  He plays at a really good pace. I feel like he really settled us down. He is crafty and very cerebral. He knows how to get open and how to set his man up as well."

How much so? At one point, Brown had nearly four times the number of shot attempts as the next Longhorn, putting up 11 shots to the No. 2 player's three. And in the second half, Brown reached the 28-point mark when the Terriers had just 29 points as a team.

"My teammates did a great job out there to find me," Brown said. "I didn't know I had that many assists, too. Overall, it was a really good game."

Brown wasn't the only explosive member of the Longhorns, who ended the first half of a 12-3 run to stretch a one-point, 19-18 lead to a 31-21 advantage at halftime. Texas then used a 17-3 run to run away with the game, taking a 40-26 lead and turning it into a 57-29 advantage. Overall, from the 5:41 mark in the first half to the 13:23 point in the second, Texas held a monstrous 38-11 edge.

The Longhorns starting lineup included Brown and Myck Kabongo at guard, Julien Lewis at the wing and Wangmene and Jonathan Holmes in the post. Brown and Kabongo combined for a 15-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Lewis finished as the game's second leading scorer with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

Barnes said Holmes won his spot over Clint Chapman for the opener with a strong week's practice, and added that the starting lineup would be somewhat fluid. Both showed some nice things, with Chapman looking aggressive offensively and blocking three shots. Holmes showed a diverse offensive game and had two steals.

The Terriers were led by guards Darryl Partin and D.J. Irving, who scored 14 and 10, respectively. But the long-armed and quick Texas defense held them to a combined 10-of-27 from the field and forced the duo into nine turnovers. Overall, the Terriers had 24 turnovers to the Longhorns' 10, and every player in the Terriers' starting lineup had at least three.

The Terriers returned four of five starters from a team that went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, and did out-rebound the Longhorns 43-35, an edge helped by grabbing 18 offensive rebounds to the Longhorns' 22 defensive boards. Boston University fell to 0-2 with the loss.

"I'd say their freshmen are as good as advertised," said Joe Jones, Boston University coach. "Obviously Brown played terrific tonight. He was lights out once he got it going."

Texas (1-0) will next play host to Rhode Island in the second round of the TicketCity Legends Classic Regional Round on Tuesday. Tip is set for 3 p.m.

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