No. 2 Texas 107, Long Beach St. 74
Texas found some of that missing offense, with a pack of freshmen leading the way.
Avery Bradley scored 17 points and Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown each scored 13 as the No. 2 Longhorns routed Long Beach State 107-74 on Monday night
``We get better every single day,'' Bradley said of Texas' group of freshmen, considered by many to be the best in the country. ``I think tonight it showed that we're improving every single day.''
After two games filled with offensive struggles, Texas (7-0) scored its most points in five seasons, shot 59 percent and had 33 points off 23 turnovers by Long Beach State. Texas also had 23 assists against 11 turnovers. Point guard Dogus Balbay, making just his second start of the season, directed the offense with a career-high 11 assists.
``I'm just glad they finished all the passes I delivered,'' Balbay said. ``If they keep finishing, I'm going to keep doing it.''
Stephan Gilling scored 19 points to lead Long Beach State (4-4).
``On paper, we're supposed to be better than that,'' Long Beach State coach Dan Monson said. ``I told (Texas coach Rick) Barnes I was disappointed we couldn't give them a better game than that. But this is Texas' show. They dominated us physically from the get-go.''
Long Beach State, which plays in the Big West Conference, still has some tough game non-conference games on the schedule with matchups against Kentucky and Duke later this month.
Texas got its best production of the season from the freshmen, most notably from Bradley, who was ranked by some as the top recruit in the nation. Bradley was 7 of 13 shooting with two 3-pointers, two assists and two steals. Hamilton was 6 of 12 from the field.
``Coach said sometimes I need to look to score. I wanted to come out and be aggressive,'' Bradley said. ``If I miss a shot, I'm looking to make the next one.''
Hamilton scored 11 and Bradley scored 10 as Texas shot 61 percent in the first half. Balbay, a junior, provided the early spark with four assists in the first five minutes.
The freshmen hooked up nicely when Hamilton started a fast break with a steal and passed to Brown, who then fired the ball to Bradley in the corner for a 3-pointer and a 44-27 lead.
Brown ended the first half with a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, then a spinning layup at the buzzer to give Texas a 52-37 lead at the break.
Balbay opened the second half by finding Bradley for another 3-pointer, then blocked a 3-point attempt by Larry Anderson.
Senior Damion James, who came in leading Texas in scoring and rebounding this season - he's averaging a double-double - picked up his third foul less than two minutes into the second and went to the bench. He finished with 14 points, but the Texas offense managed just fine without him on this night.
Balbay kept finding creases for nifty passes and assists. Hamilton came back in and immediately forced another turnover, then set up Brown for another 3-pointer and a 62-43 lead.
Texas kept forcing points with defense. A Long Beach State turnover led to Balbay's 10th assist when he spotted Brown on an inbound pass for yet another easy 3-pointer. After another turnover, Hamilton then fed Dexter Pittman for a dunk.
``We've come a long way in five weeks,'' Barnes said. ``(But) We're a long way from being the team I envision. I want to be the team that can be relentless every possession on defense and offense. I want people to say 'They are nasty and they are going to keep coming.'''