AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—Texas started the Big 12 schedule like it did the regular season, hitting from 3-point range.
The 15th-ranked Longhorns hit 11 shot from long range in a 79-60 victory over Baylor on Sunday.
Daniel Gibson and Kenton Paulino did most of the damage, combining for nine, and it was the seventh time this season Texas has hit at least 10 3s in a game.
“Coach was telling us to be ready to shoot,” said Paulino, who was 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. “All our guards can shoot the 3. They can’t guard all of us.”
Gibson finished with 18 points and Paulino had 17, while forward LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Longhorns (12-2).
“When Kenton starts knocking down shots like he did tonight, it really opens things up for everybody, inside and outside,” Gibson said.
Tim Bush scored 20 points to lead Baylor (7-4, 0-1).
Texas is 14-0 against Baylor under coach Rick Barnes and has won the last four in the series by at least 18 points.
Baylor is still rebuilding from the NCAA violations and player transfers left by former coach Dave Bliss. The Bears have just six scholarship players and their starting point guard, Aaron Bruce, fouled out midway through the second half.
Bruce came in as the Big 12’s leading 3-point shooter at 55 percent, but he couldn’t match the effort of Gibson and Paulino. He had just one 3 before fouling out.
“I have one recommendation,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said, “If you’re short on players, don’t have your point guard foul out with 9 or 10 minutes left.”
While Texas could have been expected to use its deeper bench to wear down the Bears, the Longhorns were also playing shorthanded and the Bears managed to keep it close until midway through the second half.
Texas senior reserve forward Jason Klotz, who averages 11.3 points, served a one-game suspension for throwing a punch in last week’s win over Memphis, and guard Sydmill Harris missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
While Texas hit eight 3-pointers in building a 45-37 halftime lead, Baylor did everything it could to keep up, hitting four. Bush, a transfer from LSU, had 12 points, including Baylor’s last seven of the half.
Texas’ perimeter shooting over Baylor’s zone defense cooled off early in the second half, but the Longhorns started getting more points inside and in transition.
Klotz’s absence opened up more playing time for Aldridge, a freshman who got his first double-double. He had five straight points when he converted a three-point play on a dunk after a steal and followed it with a layup that opened a 63-49 lead with 11:35 to play.
“I think I did my job trying to post deep, get in rebound position and work hard,” Aldridge said. “One thing I need to work on is my right hand follow up dunk. I made my left one.”
Texas dominated the rebounding 38-17 and scored 23 second-chance points.
“They were missing Klotz today, right? It didn’t seem like it,” Bush said. “I remember telling my teammates at halftime, `Man, if I box one out, I’ve got another one on my back.”’
Texas committed 10 of its 18 turnovers in the second half and Baylor cut the lead back to nine before Paulino found his 3-point range again, hitting two in a row to put Texas up 73-58.
“When we shoot 54 percent for the game and 44 percent on 3-pointers, I feel pretty good about those numbers,” Barnes said.