Braves face tall task in clash with 10th-ranked Longhorns

Nov 16, 2014 - 4:31 PM Austin, TX ( - The 10th-ranked Texas Longhorns will try to close out the weekend with another victory as they take on the Alcorn State Braves in non-conference action at the Erwin Center.

Alcorn State started the season with a misstep, as it was routed on the road by California on Friday night, 91-57. It wasn't the greatest start for a squad that has gotten used to taking losses over the last decade. The Braves finished 12-19 last season, which marked their 12th straight losing campaign. They will travel to Fargo, North Dakota to take on Hampton next.

There are some heavy expectations weighing on Texas this season, as the Longhorns are ranked 10th nationally, marking the first time since 2009 they have been in the preseason polls. They certainly showed how dominant they can be in the season opener, as they routed North Dakota State, 85-50, at home. Next up is a trip to New York for the 2K Sports Classic, where they will face Iowa.

In the only previous meeting between these two squads, Texas ran away with a 103-44 victory in 2007.

The Braves had all kinds of trouble keeping up with California on Friday, especially from beyond the arc. They were outscored 30-9 from 3-point range, while shooting at just a 31.6 percent clip from the field overall. They were unable to create many easy buckets, as Cal doubled the visitors up, 44-22, in points in the paint.

Leantwan Luckett was the leading scorer in the contest for the Braves, finishing with 18 points. However, he could have been more efficient as he knocked down only 5-of-18 shots from the floor, including a 1-of-5 showing from long range. Luckett was also inconsistent from the free-throw line (7- of-13). Marquis Vance played 36 minutes and produced 17 points, while coming up a rebound shy of a double-double. Tyrel Hunt was also in double figures (10 points), while fellow starters Tamarcio Wilson and Kenyan Pittman combined to miss all nine of their field goal attempts. Reginald Johnson was the top scorer off the bench, providing six points in 25 minutes.

Texas dominated the first half and kept pouring it on after intermission against North Dakota State. The Longhorns scored 38 points in the opening period, while limiting the Bison to only 18. They followed that with a 47- point effort in the second half.

One major area of strength for Texas this season will be on the glass, as it has a formidable group in the frontcourt. The Longhorns outrebounded North Dakota State by a 51-32 margin on Friday, but it was a total team effort, with 15 different players recording at least one rebound. Isaiah Taylor and Connor Lammert tied for the team-lead with seven apiece. Taylor also was the leading scorer (18 points). In his collegiate debut, freshman sensation Myles Turner performed well, netting 14 points to go with six rebounds and a pair of blocks in 20 minutes. Jonathan Holmes finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

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