Sun, 24 Jan 2021

No. 19 Texas opens with Davidson in relocated Maui Invitational

Field Level Media
30 Nov 2020, 13:05 GMT+10

No. 19 Texas looks to build on the momentum gained from a dominating opening effort when it squares off against Davidson on Monday afternoon in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

The tournament has been relocated to Asheville, N.C., from Hawaii because of COVID-19.

The winner will playIndiana or Providence on Tuesday in the second round. North Carolina, UNLV, Alabama and Stanford are on the other side of the tournament bracket, with three games in three days in store for the teams in the event.

Texas swamped UT Rio Grande Valley 91-55 at home on Wednesday in its season-opener, getting double-figure scoring from five players.

Davidson was also victorious in its initial outing of the season, recording a hard-fought, 82-73 home win over High Point on Wednesday.

The Longhorns' backcourt shined in their win over UTRGV, with Courtney Ramey recording a game-high 20 points and Matt Coleman adding 17. Freshman Greg Brown, one of the top-ranked recruits in the nation, started for Texas at power forward and scored 11 points and took 10 rebounds, recording a double-double in his first collegiate contest.

The Longhorns converted 57.4 percent (31 of 54) from the floor in the win and shot 76.2 percent (16 of 21) from the field in the second half, tied for the fourth-highest field-goal percentage in a half in program history and best since Jan. 15, 2000, against Oklahoma.

But it wasn't just the offense that was clicking for Texas. The Longhorns held UTRGV to 26.1 percent shooting (18 of 69) from the field and posted a plus-18 rebound margin (54-36) in the victory.

"I just think everybody who came in the game gave us something," Ramey said. "That's what we're going to need, because there's so much going on with COVID. One person might have to miss a game and the next person's going have to step up."

Texas has its deepest and most talented lineup in coach Shaka Smart's sixth year in Austin, and the experience gives him many more options than he has had in past years.

"The big key is going to be just the lineups together," Smart said. "Who's playing well together and who can mesh together and figuring out who can really understand their role?"

Davidson also brings some swagger into the tournament.

Hyunjung Lee scored a career-high 23 points, Kellan Grady added 20, and Sam Mennenga hit for 12 points and took nine rebounds in the Wildcats' gritty win over High Point. Davidson led for nearly 34 minutes and finally put the visitors away with a 10-0 run down the stretch.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop said his team didn't play with the intensity it needed and was taken to the limit by a hot-shooting High Point team.

"There was a sense that we were going to win and win convincingly in our locker room," McKillop said. "And we came out with that belief. Therefore, the discipline that is so much a part of our system was kind of relaxed, and we could never get it to double digits (lead) until the final two or three minutes of the game."

The Wildcats return four starters from last year's team that went 16-14 overall and finished 10-8 in Atlantic 10 play.

--Field Level Media

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