AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Freshman Myles Turner scored 18 points to carry No. 6 Texas to a 63-53 win over Texas-Arlington on Tuesday night — a lethargic tuneup before the Longhorns head to Kentucky to play the No. 1 Wildcats.
Texas, which beat defending national champion Connecticut on Saturday, struggled for long stretches and often got sloppy against the Mavericks, who lost by 48 to Kentucky last week.
Jonathan Holmes added nine points and 16 rebounds for Texas, which improved to 7-0 for the first time since the 2009-2010 team won its first 17 and rose to No. 1 in the country.
Holmes also had three blocks as Texas tied the school record of 13. Turner was 2 of 9 from the floor but was 14 of 17 shooting free throws.
Greg Gainey scored nine points to lead Texas-Arlington (3-4), which has lost three in a row.
Perhaps looking ahead to their trip to Kentucky, Texas started slow, missing 12 of its first 15 shots. The Mavericks made six 3-pointers in the first half and led 18-13 before Texas used stout defense by Holmes to start a 17-2 run for a lead the Longhorns would not relinquish.
Holmes had consecutive blocks at the rim, one denying a dunk, as Texas finally came to life. Turner made five consecutive free throws and Holmes blocked another dunk attempt before Cam Ridley dunked on the other end for a 32-22 Texas lead.
But the Mavericks refused to let Texas pull away. Texas had three quick turnovers to start the second half and the Mavericks were within 44-41 with 11 minutes to play.
Turner then scored eight consecutive points and the Longhorns pushed the lead back to double digits on a dunk by Ridley with just over five minutes left.
The Longhorns got a scare in the first half when point guard Javan Felix limped to the bench with a sore left foot that had bothered him earlier in the season. The Longhorns already are missing starter Isaiah Taylor with a broken left wrist. Being down two point guards in Lexington would have been troubling, but Felix returned three minutes later.
More troublesome for Texas will be the recent lack of rebounding from Ridley, who is a key part of the Longhorns’ physically imposing frontcourt. Ridley had no rebounds in Texas’ win over Connecticut and had only two Tuesday night.
Texas: The Longhorns have held their first seven opponents under 60 points, the first time that’s happened since the 1950-51 season.
UT-Arlington: The Mavericks have played in three different conferences the last three seasons, jumping from the Southland to Western Athletic Conference before last season’s move to the Sun Belt, where they were picked in the preseason to finish fourth.
Texas plays at No. 1 Kentucky on Friday night
Texas-Arlington hosts Weber State on Saturday
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.