AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tyrese Hunter scored 18 points, and No. 19 Texas defeated Rice 80-64 Wednesday night, extending its season-opening winning streak to three games.
Hunter shot 3 for 5 from 3-point distance and the Longhorns (3-0) hit 10 of 22 (45.5%) overall.
Kadin Shedrick scored 15 points, Max Abmas added 13 and Dillon Mitchell finished with a game-best 13 rebounds for Texas.
Rice (1-2), which made 22 3-pointers with 40% accuracy in its first two games, was slowed by the Longhorns’ defense and hit just 4 of 22 (18.2%) shots from long distance.
“We knew we were gonna have to play some good shooter defense,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “Our guys did a good job for 40 minutes.”
Anthony Selden led Rice with 17 points. Travis Evee scored 11 and Max Fiedler was limited to seven points, less than half his average.
Rice coach Scott Pera said the Owls had their share of open 3-point shots despite the Longhorns’ defensive effort, particularly in the first half, when they missed 8 of 10.
“We got great shots in the first half,” Pera said. “Not good, great.”
Texas broke loose with a flurry of 3-pointers early in the second half, just as it did in its last win, against Delaware State on Friday.
Brock Cunningham made the first 3-pointer after a steal, putting Texas ahead by 15 points. Cunningham finished with three steals. Abmas followed the Cunningham 3 with a pair of his own.
Texas made six 3-point baskets, including three by Hunter, on the way to a 41-32 lead at halftime.
The Longhorns had eight turnovers in the first half and 16 in the game after losing the ball 20 times against Delaware State.
“You can’t win big games with a lot of turnovers,” Cunningham said. “We’re going into New York to play some good teams (Sunday and Monday) and we got to take care of the ball. But it’s the third game of the season. We’re getting better.”
Texas held a lopsided edge in shooting, making 60.4% of its shots, while the Owls managed 38.3%.
Rice: The Owls have not fared well against nationally ranked competition. With the loss to Texas, they are 9-102 against Top 25 opponents. Their last victory against a ranked team was on Jan. 20, 1999, a 76-69 victory over TCU. … Rice is picked to finish 11th in the 14-team American Conference by the league’s coaches.
Texas: Terry, trying to build an NCAA championship program, signed five-star high school guard Tre Johnson this week. Terry hopes for better luck than last year, when elite recruits Ron Holland and A.J. Johnson signed with Texas but opted to bypass college in favor of the NBA G League Ignite and the National Basketball League in Australia, respectively.
FRONT COURT PROGRESS
The 6-foot-8 Mitchell averaged 3.9 rebounds as a freshman last season and vowed this season to impress his coaches and NBA scouts with improvement. He is averaging 10 through three games. Shedrick, who transferred this season from Virginia and had offseason shoulder surgery, played just 11 minutes in each of his first two games, but logged 21 against Rice.
“I felt like I could still go five to eight more,” Shedrick said. “Get to 30.”
Rice: Faces Indiana State on Tuesday in Henderson, Nevada.
Texas: Faces Louisville on Sunday in Madison Square Garden.