AUSTIN, Texas — Tyrese Hunter scored 26 points and a led a 3-point shooting spree for No. 11 Texas that carried the Longhorns to a 93-74 win over No. 2 Gonzaga on Wednesday night.
Hunter, last season’s Big 12 freshman of the year at Iowa State, was 9-of-14 shooting and made five of Texas’ 13 3-pointers. He made three from long range in the opening minutes of the second half as the Longhorns seized control.
Texas (3-0) shut down Gonzaga All-American forward Drew Timme for long stretches and rendered him mostly ineffective when the game was still close. Two of his first four shots were airballs against switching double-team defenses.
Marcus Carr added 16 points for Texas. Timme led Gonzaga (2-1) with 18 points.
Texas held Gonzaga to a single basket over the final five minutes of the first half and stretched a tight game into a 10-point halftime lead behind a rare scoring burst from defensive specialist Brock Cunningham. He made a 3-pointer and a reverse layup before tipping away a pass to Timme for his own layup that made it 47-37.
Texas broke it open with the flurry of 3-pointers to start the second half. Hunter struck first, then Dylan Disu was left wide open for another. Hunter then made two more before converting a three-point play on a steal and layup that pushed the Texas lead to 20.
Gonzaga: Timme & Co. shot pretty well (49% overall with nine 3-pointers) but have a turnover problem. After 18 turnovers in a tight win over Michigan State on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, they had 15 more against Texas. The Longhorns turned those giveaways into 27 points. Point guard Nolan Hickman had four turnovers and two assists.
Texas: Disu was a big part of Texas’ ability to lock down Timme from the jump. At 6-foot-9, he’s the tallest Longhorn and a nagging leg injury kept him off the court for much of last season. His physical play around the rim will be key for a team that lacks overall size. He scored 12 points and hit two 3-pointers with his soft shooting touch, giving the Longhorns a critical piece on both ends of the court.
Gonzaga continues its rough early-season schedule with a home matchup against No. 4 Kentucky on Sunday.
Texas plays Northern Arizona in Edinburg, Texas on Nov. 21.
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