Austin (Sports Network) – Jordan Hamilton notched a game-best 25 points with nine rebounds as 20th-ranked Texas had an easy time with Sam Houston State, 84-50, at the Erwin Center.
Dogus Balbay scored a career-high 14 points and J’Covan Brown added 12 for the Longhorns (4-1), who gave head coach Rick Barnes his 500th career win. Gary Johnson contributed nine points and shared the team-high with nine boards.
“I have been extremely well blessed in my lifetime,” Barnes said. “One, I have an incredible family. This has not been easy on them all of the time through all of the years. I would not be here today if I were not for them. I have had great presidents. I have been at great universities. I have had great athletic directors. Obviously, I have had tremendous coaches that have been with me through the whole thing and great players.”
Antuan Bootle posted 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bearkats (2-1), who opened the season with two sizeable victories. Gilberto Clavell scored 15 with seven boards in a losing cause.
The Longhorns opened with a 10-4 lead in the first four-plus minutes, then extended that advantage to 25-8 with 6:21 left in the opening half after Hamilton drained a jumper.
Balbay’s layup in the final seconds sent Texas to halftime up 33-18.
A tip-in from Matt Hill with 13:26 to play gave the Longhorns a 51-26 edge and capped a 14-0 run.
Texas kept pushing the offense and eventually cracked the 30-point barrier with just over four minutes left as Johnson’s fastbreak layup made it 74-44.
Sam Houston was powerless to mount any kind of late comeback.
“Two reasons we don’t have our offense where it needs to be — first of all because we’ve got a new system that we put in offensively,” noted SHS head coach Jason Hooten. “It’s not the same one we ran last year. We’ve got seven guys back from last year’s team. Seven new guys are trying to learn a new offense.”
Texas has won 12 of the 14 all-time meetings…Hamilton scored 20-or-more points for the fourth time in the young season…Barnes has led Texas to a 169-22 record at home since taking over…The Longhorns host Rice on Saturday, while the Bearkats travel to Colorado State also on Saturday.