Playing inferior opponents, Texas hasn’t been challenged too much through its first two games. That probably won’t change Sunday, when the 16th-ranked Longhorns host Division II Arkansas-Monticello as part of the StubHub Legends Classic.
After beating Texas-San Antonio 58-37 in its season opener on Monday, Texas (2-0) rolled past UC Davis 73-42 on Friday.
The Longhorns limited UC Davis, in its first season as a Division I program, to 13 second-half points on 4-of-22 shooting (18.2 percent) from the field.
Texas held its first two opponents under 50 points for the first time since 1952, and has not opened a season allowing 50 or less in three straight games since 1947 when the team did it five straight times.
“We know that in order to be a good team, we have to play solid defense,” said junior forward Connor Atchley, who scored 11 points and had two of Texas’ nine steals on Friday. “I think that as a team, we want to make sure we get better every time because if it’s a big game in a tight situation, we need to play clutch defense.”
The Longhorns, who are holding opponents to 28.4 percent shooting, have a good chance for another defensive shutdown Sunday.
Arkansas-Monticello, of the Gulf South Conference, is averaging 48.5 points on 31.5 percent shooting in its two games.
Texas shot 54.5 percent from the field on Friday, as A.J. Abrams scored a team-high 21 points.
Abrams was scoreless in the first half of Texas’ season opener, but found his shooting touch early against the Aggies, scoring 12 points by halftime. Abrams set a Big 12 record with 120 3-pointers last season, and was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc on Friday while matching a career high with nine field goals.
“People just labeled me as a 3-point shooter, I never did buy into that. I’ve always had my mid-range shot,” Abrams said.
D.J. Augustin had 10 points and 11 assists on Friday for the Longhorns after scoring 19 points in the opener.
After this game, Texas continues play in the Legends Classic on Friday in Newark, N.J. against New Mexico State. That will be a rematch from the first round of last season’s NCAA tournament when the Longhorns won 79-67.
Texas then plays either West Virginia or No. 7 Tennessee on Saturday.
Arkansas-Monticello (0-2) already has played both the Mountaineers and the Volunteers in its Legends Classic games, and the results weren’t pretty.
After losing to Tennessee 101-44 in their season opener on Wednesday, the Boll Weevils lost to West Virginia 81-53 on Friday.
Against the Mountaineers, Arkansas-Monticello was led by Devon Brown and Giovanni Marchetti with 13 points apiece.
This will be the first meeting between the Longhorns and the Boll Weevils.