No. 22 Texas 70, North Florida 48

Gary Johnson says he’s finding his comfort zone in the Texas

offense. The Longhorns need him to stay there because the season is

about to get much tougher.

The senior forward scored 17 points and tied his career-high

with 12 rebounds, helping the 22nd-ranked Longhorns coast past

North Florida 70-48 on Tuesday night.

Freshman guard Cory Johnson added 18 points as those two carried

the Longhorns through an otherwise sluggish effort.

”I guess I’m just finding a niche,” Johnson said, noting he’s

still getting used to playing with Joseph and freshman post player

Tristan Thompson in the lineup. ”I think we still have a long way

to go chemistry-wise.”

Johnson also had to find his rhythm out on the wing when coach

Rick Barnes put him farther out from the basket than he’s used


”He does a pretty good job, he just needs some time out

there,” Barnes said. ”Over the last couple of games he’s played

really well.”

Joseph kept up his torrid shooting for the Longhorns (8-2) as

well, hitting 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Joseph has been Texas’

best scorer of late, leading the Longhorns in points four of the

last five games.

But the Longhorns’ run of easy games against overmatched

opponents is finished.

Texas has won 25 straight at home against non-conference

opponents and now goes on the road to face North Carolina in

Greensboro on Saturday and No. 14 Michigan State on Dec. 22. Coppin

State, Arkansas and No. 4 Connecticut at home round out the

schedule before the start of Big 12 play on Jan. 11.

”I don’t know if the freshmen know what they are getting into

playing against opponents like that,” Johnson said. ”I think we

have what it takes to come together as a team and overcome


Joseph scored 12 points and Johnson had 10 in the first half

against North Florida as Texas built a 35-16 lead. Seven turnovers

and 33 percent shooting kept the Longhorns from finding much

offensive continuity, but the Longhorns outrebounded North Florida

30-16 in the half.

Johnson had eight rebounds in the half and Joseph’s third

3-pointer put Texas up by 19 points.

In the second, Johnson kept finding the mid-range jumper he has

used so effectively in recent games. He even tried – but missed –

two 3-pointers in the game. Thompson slammed an alley-oop dunk on a

nifty pass from J’Covan Brown and Texas built the lead to


Then the Longhorns went into a deep slump, going scoreless over

the next six minutes until Jordan Hamilton got a long 3-pointer to

fall after taking three bounces off the rim. Johnson then drove the

baseline and finished a scooping reverse layup and the 3-point play

made it 51-25.

Texas kept up the pressure defensively during the scoring

drought, allowing North Florida just three field goals over the

first 10 minutes of the second half.

”We were lazy offensively. I can’t tell you how many chippies

we missed around the rim,” Barnes said.

Brian Holmes and Jerron Granberry each scored 10 points for

North Florida (4-6).

Some of Texas’ previous opponents had tried to mix up their zone

and man-to-man defenses in hopes of confusing the Longhorns or

catching them on a bad shooting night.

If the Ospeys did, it was by mistake, North Florida coach

Matthew Driscoll said.

”Sometimes it looked like we did because guys were in the wrong

place,” he said.