Texas christened the new Moody Center arena with an impressive victory in its first major test against a ranked opponent since opening earlier this year. Behind a career night from Tyrese Hunter, who finished with 26 points, the Longhorns showed their strength against one of the best — and most entertaining — teams in college basketball in a 93-74 rout of No. 2 Gonzaga.

Gonzaga hung on early and took a small lead in the first half, but it was too late for the Zags as the Longhorns’ fans lit up the stage to give their team a 10-point halftime lead. Texas never trailed and built its lead to as many as 23 in the second half before ending up with a 19-point margin of victory. In the year The loss was Gonzaga’s most by a margin since a 23-point loss to Arizona in March 2014.

Everything seemed to go right for Texas and conversely the wheels fell off the wagon (and then the wagon sat on cinder blocks in the middle of the intersection) for Gonzaga. Texas hit 13 3s on 33 attempts, didn’t miss a free throw (12-of-16 from the line) and constantly pressured the Zags into fouling on the perimeter. That was the genesis of Gonzaga’s struggles: It committed 20 turnovers on the night — 11 of which came in the first half — of which Texas converted 27 points. One turnover in particular was part of a frenetic sequence from Texas that nearly blew the lid off the Moody Center.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said during the preseason that he thinks his team’s conference schedule is more ambitious than he can remember, and Wednesday was an example of that challenge. It comes five days after Michigan State survived a blowout on an aircraft carrier and comes before a big matchup against No. 4 Kentucky on Nov. 20.

In winning Texas, the top-ranked A.P. Sets a program record in wins against opponent. The last win was against AP-Level 2 rival Oklahoma in 2009.



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