AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—J’Covan Brown was not happy with himself despite scoring a career-high 35 points against Rhode Island on Tuesday. The 87 percent free throw shooter missed two from the line as Texas won 100-90 in the TicketCity Legends Classic.
“I was really upset,” he said. “But today my teammates did a great job of screening and leaving me open for open shots.”
The junior guard was 10 of 22 to go with six assists and no turnovers. He also made five 3-pointers.
“Brown is just terrific,” Rhode Island coach Jim Baron said. “He’s a big-time guard, and he makes plays. When you need him to step up, he steps up.”
It was Brown’s second double-digit-scoring game in three days. He put up 28 points with eight assists and one turnover in the season opener Sunday against Boston University.
Texas (2-0) returns no starters from last season after two graduated and three were drafted by NBA teams. Brown is the most experienced player still on the roster, having averaged 10.4 points per game last year.
Jamal Wilson led the Rams (0-2) with 24 points after putting up 38 in a season-opening loss to George Mason.
Senior Clint Chapman, the only Longhorn taller than 6-foot-7, had a game-high eight rebounds, though the teams were an even 42-42 on the boards.
Myck Kabongo added 18 points and nine assists for Texas. The freshman also converted 12 of 17 free throws.
It was another physical test for undersized and young Texas, which counts six freshmen among its nine scholarship players.
Texas went up by 17 early. But Rhode Island finished the first half on a 20-7 run to enter halftime down 46-43.
Rhode Island took a 59-58 lead on a free throw by Blake Vedder with 13:17 left. But Sheldon McClellan responded with a dunk and a free throw to regain the lead for Texas, and the Longhorns outscored their opponents 17-2 over the next 3 minutes.
“When you look back at it, it was probably a good thing in the long run,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “I thought it showed something when we took the lead.”
Texas was 35 of 44 from line. Jonathan Holton fouled out with 5 minutes left, and four other Rams finished with four fouls apiece.