AUSTIN (KXAN) — The No. 8 Texas Longhorns were out to prove a point Tuesday against No. 23 Iowa State at Moody Center.
Coming off an overtime home win over unranked Oklahoma on Saturday, the Longhorns were deadly from 3-point range in a 72-54 blowout win over the Cyclones. Texas shot 12-for-28 from long distance led by Tyrese Hunter, who transferred from Iowa State in the offseason. He scored 15 points and was 3-for-5 from 3-point range, hitting long-distance shots at key times in the first half.
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Hunter scored 12 of his 15 in the opening half to help the Longhorns build a 47-29 lead at the break. He was just 3-for-11 from the field earlier in the season against the Cyclones on the road, and he said his preparation helped him knock down more shots.
“Some shots just didn’t fall up there, but we were just out there having fun out there tonight,” Hunter said. He helped key a 16-0 run early in the first half to stake the Longhorns to the big lead.
Perhaps just as impressive as the big run, the Longhorns held the Cyclones to 4-for-19 from 3-point range after coming into the game last in the Big 12 Conference in opponents’ 3-point percentage. Iowa State made 20 field goals and shot 43% from the field while Texas hit 27 shots in 57 attempts for 47%.
Longhorns interim head coach Rodney Terry said the team has built great chemistry, and that started before the season began.
“It was player-driven,” Terry said. “We didn’t have to force-feed these guys to hang out with each other, like each other, like playing with each other and being stars in the their roles. That’s been the biggest difference with this team.”
Jabari Rice poured in 15 points off the bench for the Longhorns and he shot 3-for-8 from 3-point range. Marcus Carr chipped in 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting with five assists. With the win, Texas avenged a 78-67 loss to the Cyclones in Ames on Jan. 17. All nine players who checked in the game for the Longhorns scored.
“We have a variety of ways we can scores,” Terry said. “We can play through the post, we have great guards and we can play off our defense. We need an elite-level defense to get us through March.”
Texas (22-6, 11-4 Big 12 Conference) is now 16-1 at home this year, but has to hit the road for a top-10 matchup with No. 9 Baylor on Saturday in Waco. The win keeps Texas in a first-place tie with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings. Iowa State (17-10, 8-7) hosts Oklahoma on Saturday.