A Dozen Treys lift Horns Over Alcorn State

The Longhorns hit 12 three-pointers en route to an 85-53 victory over Alcorn State on Sunday.

All Texas. All night. The Longhorns started off hot opening the game on a 15-0 run and never looked back. The Longhorns improved to 2-0 with an 85-53 win over Alcorn State.

“We were just all focused and on the same page,” forward Jonathan Holmes said. “They tried to isolate our guys. So we tried to help each other on defense and we just executed on offense.”

Player of the game

Isaiah Taylor facilitated the Longhorns furious start. The offense flows well when he’s able to get the ball moving. He started the game with back-to-back drives to basket. He kissed them both off of the glass for two. Taylor shot 5-7 at the end of the first half with 12 points and three rebounds.

Play of the game

Isaiah Taylor had Cam Ridley open in the lane and threw up what was supposed to be a lob instead it went in for a three.

“On that play, I thought Cam was gonna be on the other side of the rim,” Taylor said. “Anyways, I thought Cam would catch that on the other side of the rim so I kinda threw it to the left. But he said he saw it go over the rim so he let it go and fortunately it went in.”

Stat of the night

The biggest stat that stood out tonight was Texas 15-0 run to start the game. It really took the air out of Alcorn State’s bench and the Longhorns were able to seal the deal early.

1. Ball Movement

A big part of Texas’ game is to move the ball around and find the open man. And it works really well when the Longhorns are able to get the ball inside to Cam Ridley. Texas also did a nice job of driving inside the paint.

The Longhorns mindset this season is to find the great shot and not settle for just a good shot. Texas connected on 32 shots and had 24 assists.

“We’re trying to not settle for a good shot and try to find a great shot,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “When we let the threes come in the flow of our offense, we expect guys to shot the ball.”

2. Taylor leads offense

At times last season, Isaiah Taylor was hesitant to take open shots. But during the first two games of this season, Taylor hasn’t been afraid to take the open shot.

“There’s no doubt he can shoot it,” Barnes said. “I still think there things like being ready to shoot. He’s gotta have great hands and he’s gotta have his feet ready. He’s gotta have to have that mind set to be ready all the time…But Isaiah can shoot it. It just goes all back to him being ready to shoot it.”

3. Turner Time

Myles Turner dazzled in his first start on Friday but Sunday presented him a challenge. Turner found himself in foul trouble early and sat most of the first half.

Despite his early game struggles, Turner rebounded in the second half with 10 points, seven rebounds and six blocks.

Those six blocks were impressive. Turner’s timing on blocks is something to watch as it seems as if he perfectly times each block.

In his second collegiate game, Barnes was impressed with Turner’s improvement.

“He really made a big jump in terms of scheme,” Barnes said. “Friday he was way too far from his man. I thought today he wasn’t playing catch up…He’ll get better each game, I really do believe that.”

4. 60 percent

The Longhorns shot 60 percent from the field against Alcorn State. Texas opened up the game shooting 61.3 percent. The second half shooting percentage fell to 52 percent.

It all goes back to the Longhorns looking for the great shot and not settling for good open looks.

5. Inside presence

With the Longhorns’ offensive scheme, their big men get a lot of open looks. On top of Turner’s 10-point effort, Cam Ridley scored six points and had five rebounds. Prince Ibeh had a nice game too. Ibeh recorded nine points and four rebounds.

6. Outside game

With Texas’ big men getting good looks inside that opened up the outside shots. Texas took advantage of those open looks with 12 three pointers against Alcorn State.

“I think a lot of teams don’t really think we can shoot,” Holmes said. “A lot of teams would like to go zone and think that we won’t be able to [hit those shots]. But we got shooters out there.”

7. Free throws

Texas had trouble from the charity stripe against Alcorn State. It’s 50 percent shooting effort doesn’t look bad on paper but against a more formidable opponent that might come back to haunt the Longhorns.

8. New York City Bound

The Longhorns are headed up to Madison Square Garden for two games. Texas takes on Iowa on Thursday and will face California or Syracuse on Friday.

“It’s exciting for me and my team and me personally that’s the only trip I’m looking forward to,” Taylor said. “Playing in that NBA arena. Playing in that atmosphere like Madison Square Garden, I think it’ll be a good experience for me and my team.”

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