Turner leads No. 7 Texas over St. Francis
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — While Texas figures out what to do at point guard, the Longhorns have the luxury of leaning on a frontcourt loaded with talent.
Freshman big man Myles Turner had 25 points and 10 rebounds while tying a school shooting record, and No. 7 Texas rolled over Saint Francis 78-46 on Tuesday night to push the Longhorns to 5-0 for the first time since 2009.
One of the top recruits in the country, Turner had been quiet in Texas’ two previous wins. But he showed a confident touch on 11-of-12 shooting (92 percent) to go with his typical tough defense. He made three 3-pointers and had three of Texas’ eight blocks.
Turner acknowledged he’d been frustrated by scoring just 10 points in the previous two games.
"I think tonight was a great bounce-back game for me," Turner said. "It felt great to gain some confidence going into tougher competition."
Cam Ridley added 16 points for the Longhorns.
Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor was on the bench with his left arm in a sling. Coach Rick Barnes said Taylor is out indefinitely with a broken wrist but should return later this season. Texas also played without Taylor’s top backup, junior Javan Felix, who sat out with a sore left foot.
Texas won last week’s 2K Classic tournament, but now faces the prospect of several weeks against stiffer competition without one of its most dynamic players in Taylor.
And losing Taylor means more than losing points. He was the speedy catalyst on the fast break, and his penetrating drives could draw defenders away from the frontcourt of Turner, Ridley and Jonathan Holmes.
The Longhorns have about five weeks — including matchups with Connecticut, Kentucky and Stanford — to figure things about before the start of Big 12 play in January.
Against Saint Francis, Texas paired Kendall Yancy and Demarcus Holland in the backcourt. Yancy scored 12 but didn’t have any of Texas’ 16 assists. Holland had four assists and four points.
"We need to develop depth," Barnes said. "(Holland) defensively didn’t back off at all."
Texas seldom had a problem getting the ball to the big men. Turner and Ridley combined for 25 points, nine rebounds and four blocks as the Longhorns built a 36-23 lead by halftime.
"He’s obviously bigger than anything we have in our lineup or on our bench," Saint Francis coach Rob Krimmel said of Turner. "We said, `OK, let’s make him make some shots.’ And he did."
Saint Francis cut Texas’ lead to eight late in the first half before Turner stepped out for his first 3-pointer. Ridley then closed the half with a block and a dunk.
Texas opened the second half with a 10-2 run keyed by five points from Yancy on a 3-pointer and a reverse layup that made it 46-25.
Malik Harmon scored 15 for Saint Francis (2-3).
Texas: The Longhorns are using their size up front to their advantage. Texas already has 37 blocks, nearly eight per game. … The Longhorns have won 11 in a row at home.
Saint Francis: November is seldom kind to Saint Francis. It has won three games in November only once, and that hasn’t happened since 1997.
Texas plays at Connecticut on Sunday.
Saint Francis hosts Navy on Saturday.
Holmes, voted the most valuable player of the 2K Classic, had a rare bad game, finishing with three points and four turnovers. He came in averaging 16 points.
Texas has held every opponent this season under 32 percent shooting.