AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—A.J. Abrams kept getting open for 3-pointers. So he kept putting them up and they kept falling in.
The Big 12-record holder for 3-pointers in a season hit eight on his way to a career-high 30 points Sunday, leading No. 16 Texas to an easy 100-52 win over Division II Arkansas-Monticello.
“It was there and I was stroking pretty good tonight,” Abrams said. “I feel every time I shoot it, it has a chance to go in. The basket did look pretty open tonight.”
It wasn’t just Abrams hitting from long range. Texas (3-0) hit 16 3-pointers, two shy of the school record, in the rout. The Longhorns led by 38 at halftime and by 50 early in the second half.
Arkansas-Monticello (0-2) was completely overmatched, shooting just 3-of-33 in the first half. The Boll Weevils scored 11 points in the half, the fewest allowed by Texas since 1949. Justin Johnson led Arkansas-Monticello with 18 points, all in the second half.
Texas played the Boll Weevils as part of the StubHub Legends Classic. After three blowout wins to begin the season, the Longhorns’ schedule gets tougher in the next round next week in Newark, N.J. They play New Mexico State on Friday and then either West Virginia or No. 7 Tennessee.
“The competition will be a little bit different,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said.
The Longhorns have held their first three opponents to 30 percent shooting or less.
“We came out playing defense,” Texas forward Damion James said. “That’s what we hang our hat on.”
Arkansas-Monticello has already played Tennessee and West Virginia, losing by 57 to the Volunteers in an exhibition and by 29 to the Mountaineers on Friday. The Boll Weevils got on a bus Friday night to make the 1,400-mile drive from Morgantown, W.Va., to Austin.
“We might have been a little bit sluggish,” Boll Weevils coach Mike Newell said. “All our kids come into school thinking they should have been D-I. Now they know why they’re D-II.”
Abrams scored 21 points two days earlier to lead Texas’ win over UC Davis, doing it with a variety of long- and mid-range jumpers.
On Sunday, all he had to do was sit outside the arc and wait for passes to launch shot after shot from long range. Of his first nine baskets, seven were 3-pointers. His eighth made it 69-19 with 15 minutes left to play.
Abrams could have easily challenged the school record of 10 set by Al Coleman against Kansas State in 1997, but didn’t attempt another 3-pointer. Barnes moved him to point guard where he had four assists, before taking him out for much of the final 10 minutes.
“He did a good job there,” Barnes said. “We know that A.J. can shoot, everybody knows that. There’s more to him than that.”