Texas Basketball: 2 studs, 1 dud from Longhorns win in opener vs. UIW

Ze'Rik Onyema, Texas basketball
Ze'Rik Onyema, Texas basketball /
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Ze’Rik Onyema, Texas basketball
Ze’Rik Onyema, Texas basketball /

In the regular season opener, No. 18 Texas basketball and new full-time head coach Rodney Terry cruised to a convincing win over the Incarnate Word Cardinals at home at the Moody Center in Austin on Nov. 6. Texas dominated the first half, taking a 31-point lead into the locker room after the first 20 minutes.

UIW did keep the margins closer in the second half, losing the final 20 minutes by a score of 40-39.

But this was a game where the Longhorns were in command almost the entire way. Outside of UIW getting a 6-5 lead early in the first half, it was the Longhorns setting the tone. Texas outpaced UIW in almost every major stat category, including field goal percentage, rebounds, bench points, assists, and turnovers.

No. 18 Texas basketball cruises to a season-opening win at home over Incarnate Word

Maybe the most telling part of the box score stats from this game is the disparity in fastbreak points. Terry likes his teams to get out and run in transition. And Texas did just that, hammering the Cardinals in transition scoring by a margin of 29-0 in this game.

Texas got off to a good start in the regular season opener, with many new faces on the roster settling in nicely at the Moody Center tonight. While this was a seemingly routine victory for the Longhorns, it was still nice to see this team get some separation from its opponent after it was losing at halftime in an exhibition game last week against St. Edward’s.

Here are two studs and one dud from the Longhorns’ 88-56 win over UIW in the season opener on Nov. 6.

Stud: Ze’Rik Onyema, PF/C

Despite not having senior big man Dylan Disu due to an injury issue in the regular season opener against UIW, Texas’ frontcourt was still on point. Junior power forward/center Ze’Rik Onyema and redshirt junior center Kadin Shedrick led the way for a Longhorns’ frontcourt that dominated the paint against UIW on both ends of the floor.

Onyema and Shedrick helped the Longhorns outscore UIW by a margin of 36-18 in the paint. Texas also won the rebounding battle (45-40) and sent more shots away (9-4 edge in blocks) than the Cardinals.

While the minutes were limited for Onyema and Shedrick, both shined in the time they did get on the floor against UIW. Onyema shined in his first start during his first game at Texas. He was effective finishing around the rim, going 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.

It was Onyema’s toughness and effort in the paint that really helped the Longhorns win the battle down low. Onyema finished this game with a team-high seven rebounds (including two offensive boards) and two blocks.

The former UTEP Miners junior transfer is proving to be a critical depth component for the Longhorns in the frontcourt while Disu is dealing with an injury that will hold him out at least until next month.