AUSTIN (AP) – Texas won its sixth straight game with J’Covan Brown back atop the box score.
After the Longhorns had four games with four different leading scorers, Brown totaled 23 points in their 93-40 victory against Nicholls State on Tuesday.
It was Brown’s most points for Texas (8-2) since Nov. 19. The team’s top scorer, Brown recovered from a five-game stretch in which he averaged 12.2 points per contest.
“He let it come through the offense,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said of Brown. “He wants these guys to get better. He wants a balanced team.”
Bryan Hammond had nine points and Trevon Lewis seven for Nicholls State (3-7), which played its second game in as many days after visiting Louisiana-Monroe on Monday.
Lewis, who came in averaging 14.2 points per game and scored 30 on Monday, left the game with 12:14 remaining with cramping in his right leg and did not return.
“Kid’s a freshman and doesn’t understand how to take care of his body,” Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. “He had an unbelievable game last night. Probably didn’t hydrate well, probably stayed up too late.
“Hopefully, we won’t put him in this situation again, but good lessons for him about taking care of his body.”
Brown had 12 of Texas’ first 17 points and finished with 18 in the opening half as the other starters went a combined 3 of 15 from the floor.
In a one-minute span, Brown hit an open jumper off a screen, converted a fast-break layup, nailed another jumper and finished a three-point play to amass nine points.
Freshmen Jaylen Bond and Sterling Gibbs combined for 18 points off the bench in the first half to help put Texas up 53-30 at intermission.
“I just try to come in every game with the same mindset to play hard,” said Bond, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double.
Sheldon McClellan had 12 points and Myck Kabongo added eight assists. Both are freshmen.
“I do think the key for our team is going to still be the development of the young guys,” Barnes said. “That’s where we’re going to get better.”
Texas scored 16 of the first 17 points after the break and later went on a 12-3 run over four minutes to put the game out of reach.
Nicholls State did not convert a field goal in the second half until Dantrell Thomas sank a jumper with 6:25 to play. The Colonels finished with three field goals in the final 20 minutes, tying a Texas school record for fewest allowed in a half.
Nicholls State shot a season-worst 28 percent from the field (14 of 51) and committed 20 turnovers to Texas’ eight.
“We just didn’t have anything in us to put the shot in the hole,” Piper said. “We countered their pressure by attacking the rim, and we don’t see shot blockers like that at our level very often.”
Barnes declared that Tuesday’s win signaled the end of his team’s tuneups.
“The best team we’ve played this year is coming here Saturday,” he said about this weekend’s matchup with Temple (6-2). “We’re going to have to earn them from here on out.”
Texas travels to No. 5 North Carolina on Dec. 21.
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