AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Andrew Jones is a sixth-year senior, but that doesn’t mean he’s adamant.
Jones recently visited Texas coach Chris Beard and volunteered to relinquish his starting position in the Longhorn backcourt.
He thrived in two games as a substitute. Jones had 15 points and five assists as No.8 Texas beat the California Baptist 68-44 on Wednesday night, handing the Lancers their first loss of the season.
Jones missed eight of his nine shots in his last start, a win over northern Colorado on Nov. 17. In two games off the bench, Jones converted 10 of 16.
“I have to get off the bench to understand how the game unfolds,” Jones said. “It gives me a chance to have a new perspective and to be more comfortable understanding my role, understanding when to attack, when not to attack. “
Timmy Allen, a transfer from Utah, had 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Courtney Ramey and Christian Bishop added 12 points each for Texas (4-1).
Daniel Akin led California Baptist (5-1) with nine points.
The Lancers arrived in Austin averaging 80 points per game and 50% shooting from the field, including 39.6% from 3 points. Texas ended that, keeping them 40.5% overall and 12.5% deep. The Longhorns led 35-16 at the half.
California Baptist shot 30% in the first half, missing 8 of 9 attempts by 3 points, while limiting their opportunities with 12 turnovers. The Lancers collected 11 other goodies in the second half.
California Baptist leading scorer Reed Nottage with 16 points per game attempted two shots in the half, missing both. He finished with three runs, all on free throws.
“Our best defensive game of the year,” said Beard. “No doubt about it.”
California Baptist: Freshman Taran Armstrong started the game leading the country in assists with 9.2 per game, but he’s not among the NCAA leaders. That’s because California Baptist is in the fourth season of a five-year process of upgrading to Division I from Division II. The Lancers are not eligible for playoff competitions or for inclusion in NCAA statistics.
Armstrong, chased by Texas goalie Marcus Carr, only got one assist. Carr made three interceptions.
“Marcus was trying to do one thing tonight – try to win the game on defense,” Beard said.
Texas: The Longhorns limited Houston Baptist, Northern Colorado, San Jose State and California Baptist to under 50 points, but they were burned by No.1 Gonzaga for 86 points in a 12-point loss. Northern Colorado, San Jose State and California Baptist averaged 16 points in the first half. A bigger test is scheduled to take place on December 9 at the 21st Seton Hall. … Ramey, a senior, became the 40th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 points in his career.
SEARCHING FOR UNITY
Texas’ last three home games, against Northern Colorado, San Jose State and California Baptist, were part of the Abe Lemons Classic. It was not a tournament, just a series of games in honor of Lemons, who coached Texas from 1976 to 1982 and won the NIT Championship in 1978. He died in 2002. Beard, in his debut season in Texas, said he was on a mission to “unite the family” of former coaches and players.
California Baptist welcomes San Diego Christian Saturday.
Texas hosts Sam Houston State Monday at Gregory Gym, a mid-campus venue with a capacity of about 4,000 people for school volleyball games. It was the basketball court for the Longhorns for 46 years until the 1977-78 season.
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