AUSTIN, Texas — Junior guard Tyrese Hunter posted a game-high 18 points and sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds to lead No. 19/17 Texas (3-0) to an 80-64 victory over Rice (1-2) on Wednesday night at Moody Center. The Longhorns converted 60.4-percent (29-48) from the floor on the night, including a 45.5-percent clip (10-22) from three-point range.
Hunter connected on 6-of-8 field goals, including 3-of-5 threes, and 3-of-4 free throws while dishing out four assists against just one turnover in 35 minutes. Graduate Kadin Shedrick tallied 15 points (4-6 FG, 1-1 threes, 6-9 FT) and four rebounds in 21 minutes while making his first start at Texas, and graduate Max Abmas recorded 13 points (5-9 FG, 3-6 threes), five rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.
Mitchell bettered his previous collegiate high of 12 rebounds set twice before and added six points (3-6 FG), three assists, two blocked shots and one steal in a career-best 34 minutes. Graduate Brock Cunningham registered eight points (3-5 FG, 2-3 threes), six boards (three offensive), three assists, three steals and two blocked shots in 31 minutes.
The Longhorns have topped the 50-percent mark from the floor in each of their first three games. Texas also has reached double digits in three-pointers made in all three of its contests this season.
The Longhorns started the game by scoring the first five points in the opening 1:04 courtesy of a Shedrick dunk and an Ithiel Horton three-pointer. After a Noah Shelby three-pointer trimmed the deficit to 17-11 at the 12:32 mark, Texas answered with a 5-0 spurt to increase its cushion to 22-11 following a Shedrick hook shot with 10:51 left.
A Hunter three-pointer gave the Longhorns a 30-19 advantage at the 5:36 mark, before Rice used an 8-2 run over the next two minutes to cut the margin to 32-27 following a pair of free throws by Sam Alajiki with 3:40 remaining. An Anthony Selden three-pointer trimmed the deficit to 36-32 at the 2:21 mark, but Texas scored the final five points of the half to take a 41-32 lead into the break. The Longhorns converted 60.9-percent (14-23) from the floor, including a 6-of-11 (.545) mark from beyond the arc, in the opening 20 minutes.
After a Mekhi Mason layup cut the gap to 43-34 at the 18:40 mark, Texas responded with a 16-7 run over the next five minutes to build a 59-41 advantage following an Abmas three-pointer with 13:37 left. An Anthony Selden three-point play trimmed the margin to 69-57 at the 6:37 mark, before the Longhorns sealed the victory with an 11-3 spurt over the next five minutes to take an 80-60 lead following a Mitchell dunk in transition with 1:51 remaining.
Texas returns to the court when it travels to New York City to face Louisville (2-1) in the semifinals of the Saatva Empire Classic on Sunday, Nov. 19. Tip is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Central (3:30 p.m. Eastern) at Madison Square Garden, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
Texas Basketball Postgame Notes
#19/17 Texas 80, Rice 64
November 15, 2023
Moody Center (Austin, Texas)
- Texas improved to 19-1 all-time in games played in Moody Center.
- The Longhorns improved to 140-59 in the all-time series against Rice.
- UT has now won 12 consecutive games against the Owls. Texas has won 19 of the last 20 and 34 of the last 39 meetings in the series. The Longhorns own a 78-21 advantage in games played in Austin during the series.
- Texas converted a season-best 60.4-percent (29-48) from the floor, including a 45.5-percent (10-22) mark from three-point range, during the win. The Longhorns have topped the 50-percent mark from the floor in each of their first three contests.
- UT hit 10-of-22 (.455) from three-point range and has reached double digits in three-pointers made in each of the first three contests.
- Texas held the Owls to 38.3-percent FG shooting (23-60), including an 18.2-percent (4-22) mark from three-point range, on the evening.
- The Longhorns registered a plus-10 rebound margin (37-27).
- UT posted 17 assists on 29 field goals made. Four different Longhorns had at least three assists in the win.
- Texas converted 60.9-percent (14-23) from the floor, including a 54.5-percent mark (6-11) from three-point range, in the opening 20 minutes while building a 41-32 halftime advantage.
- Reached double figures in scoring (13 points) for the third time this year (3 games) and 115th time in his career (126 games)
- Tied his career high in blocked shots (2)
- Added eight points (3-5 FG, 2-3 threes), six boards (three offensive), three assists and three steals and registered a plus-minus total of plus-15 in 31 minutes
- Reached double figures in scoring (team-high 18 points) for the third time this year (3 games) and 43rd time in his career (76 games)
- Set his career high in rebounds (13), previous: 12, twice
- Set his career high in minutes (34), previous: 32 vs. Rice on Dec. 12, 2022
- Tied his career high in blocked shots (2)
- Reached double figures in rebounds for the second time this year (3 games) and fourth time in his career (41 games)
- Reached double figures in scoring (15 points) for the second time this year (3 games) and 24th time in his career (79 games)
- Converted the second 3-pointer of his collegiate career (Shedrick went 1-of-7 from three-point range during his career at Virginia)