AUSTIN, Texas — Ariel Atkins scored 23 points and No. 2 Texas made eight 3-pointers in the first half as the Longhorns rolled to a 100-34 win over McNeese State on Wednesday.
Texas overwhelmed McNeese State from the opening tip with a trapping defense that forced turnovers and put the game in the fast-tempo transition the Longhorns wanted. Texas forced 11 turnovers in the first quarter and turned them into 19 points and made five 3-pointers in bolting to a 32-8 lead. Atkins made the game’s first basket on a 3-pointer from the corner and finished the quarter with eight.
Texas’ 32 points was one shy of the school record for most in a quarter, a mark set just four days earlier in a season-opening win over Stetson.
McNeese could do nothing to slow the onslaught. The Cowgirls were just 4 of 26 shooting as Texas kept building its lead to 58-14 by halftime. Atkins outscored McNeese by herself with 15 points on 5 of 5 shooting, including three 3-pointers in the half.
The Texas record for points in a half is 69, set against Centenary in 2000. Texas reached the 100-point mark for the first time since the 2013-2014 season against Sam Houston State.
McNeese State: The Cowgirls get to drop back down to their level of competition for about a month, but they could get a taste of this sort of blowout again when they face No. 3 Baylor on Dec. 13. The Cowgirls struggled to contain Texas’ speed on both ends of the court, whether trying to break the press or slowing down the Longhorns once the fast breaks started.
Texas: The Longhorns got valuable minutes for players who will be needed when the tougher games start. The frontcourt is still an experiment until suspended sophomore Joyner Holmes returns in late December, and the Longhorns outscored the Cowgirls 54-10 in the paint.
McNeese State hosts LSU-Alexandria on Sunday.
Texas hosts Texas-San Antonio on Friday.