Texas has blown out most of its opponents en route to its best start in more than 25 years. That doesn’t bode well for a Texas State team coming off a 36-point loss.
The fourth-ranked Longhorns look to continue their early dominance when they host the Bobcats on Saturday in search of their 19th straight win in the series.
Texas (9-0) has outscored opponents by an average of 23.9 points, winning all but one of its games by at least 15. The Longhorns are off to their best start since 1981-82, when they won their first 14 games.
Their win streak will be on the line against the Bobcats (5-3), who have lost 36 of 41 all-time meetings with Texas, including 18 in a row. Texas State hasn’t beaten the Longhorns since a 33-31 victory in 1938.
Texas point guard D.J. Augustin had 24 points and five assists in a 96-70 victory last Dec. 16 - the Longhorns’ seventh straight win against the Bobcats by at least 25 points.
The Longhorns have a good chance to extend Texas State’s misery if their sharp shooting continues. Texas is in the top five in the country in field goal percentage (52.7) and 3-point percentage (46.8).
Texas shot a mediocre 46.8 percent from the floor last Saturday, but had three players score 18 points in an 80-54 win over Rice. Augustin had 18 points and seven assists, and Damion James had 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Mostly overlooked in his freshman year while playing alongside National Player of the Year Kevin Durant, James has emerged this season, averaging 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. He has recorded four straight double-doubles, averaging 17.0 points and 11.8 boards in that stretch.
“That’s one of my strengths, I can rebound the ball,” James said after last week’s win. “I’ve just got good instincts. I love rebounding man, so that’s all I can say.”
Texas State is in the top 10 in the nation with 87.3 points per game, but the Bobcats were held to a season low in their 109-73 loss at then-No. 16 Texas A&M last Saturday.
The offense underperformed, but the poor defense was the primary concern for Bobcats coach Doug Davalos. Texas A&M scored 21 more points against Texas State than any other team this season.
“We never made them uncomfortable,” Davalos said.
It could be just as difficult to make the Longhorns uncomfortable in Austin, where they’ve lost just once in each of the last two seasons. Since the start of 2005-06, they’re 36-2 at the Frank Erwin Center.
Texas is 79-7 against in-state opponents during coach Rick Barnes’ 10-year tenure, which includes four wins over Texas State.