AUSTIN (AP) – A fresh face stepped up to lead Texas to another victory over Texas-Arlington.
Sheldon McClellan scored 23 points Tuesday night to become the fourth different player to lead Texas in scoring this season as the Longhorns defeated the Mavericks 80-62.
The freshman averages 10.3 points per game but surpassed that mark in under 10 minutes against Texas-Arlington.
“He is tremendously talented. He still doesn’t understand how good he can be,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “Every time it leaves his hand you think it’s going in.”
McClellan came off the bench and converted 4 of his 6 3-pointers. The rest of the Longhorns were 2 of 19 from long range.
“There are not many guys that can come full speed, turn around on a dime and just knock it down,” Barnes said. “He did just that a couple times,”
Texas-Arlington coach Scott Cross said about McClellan: “That just shows what a high level player he is.”
Kevin Butler scored 12 and Jorge Redman 11 for Texas-Arlington, which fell to 0-7 all-time against Texas. The Mavericks (4-3) got off to a 3-0 start this season but have now lost three of their last four.
Cross is the only coach in Texas-Arlington history with a winning record (83-76) but has never beaten a Big 12 opponent in his six years at the helm.
A 10-2 run by Texas (6-2) that bridged halftime created some breathing room for the Longhorns and gave them a 39-28 lead. Texas-Arlington got within 45-39 with 15:17 remaining before the Longhorns scored nine of the next 12 points to extend the lead.
McClellan was 7 of 8 from the floor in the first half but Texas-Arlington shot 38.5 percent from long range (5 of 13) before the break to stay within striking distance.
“I think my shot was just falling in and my teammates did a good job of finding me in the open court,” McClellan said.
Texas went to its inside game in the second half and outscored Arlington 32-12 in the paint. The Mavericks fouled often as they fell further behind and Texas converted 12 of 21 free throws after halftime.
McClellan had his biggest game of the year while the team’s leading scorer, J’Covan Brown, struggled to put up 11 points and went 2 of 11 from the field.
“It puts a smile on my face when I’m having a bad game to see what these guys can do,” Brown said.
Myck Kabongo and Jonathan Holmes added 13 points each for Texas. Kabongo also had seven assists.
“I think the difference in the game was Myck Kabongo,” Cross said. “He just did an unbelievable job getting in the paint. He creates for all those guys.”
It was Texas’ fourth consecutive victory after dropping a pair of games in the TicketyCity Legends tournament.
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