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No. 19 Texas at full strength vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

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No. 19 Texas finally has all hands on deck as it continues preparation for the Big 12 gauntlet, hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday afternoon in Austin.

The Longhorns (8-2) carry a modest two-game winning streak into the pre-Christmas contest, with their most recent game a 96-85 victory over LSU in Houston on Saturday.

Max Abmas poured in 20 points and Tyrese Hunter added a season-high 19 in that win for Texas, which led by 19 points after a prodigious first half but by just 70-63 midway through the second half. The Longhorns then turned to their inside-out attack to go back up by double digits and hold the Tigers at bay.

“We have to be able to buckle down defensively and get some stops and then execute on offense,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “We always say we have the ability to get a score-stop-score. We are a work in progress with that.”

Texas also got 12 points and 10 rebounds from Dillon Mitchell, while Dylan Disu added 17 points in his season debut. Disu was a huge factor for the Longhorns after missing the first nine games after offseason foot surgery. He could be the piece of the puzzle that propels Texas from a good team to a great one.

“It felt great just to be able to play basketball again,” Disu said. “It’s been a long time — almost seven months. Just being out there was great. We listened to my body. If it was hurting or I wasn’t comfortable we would’ve pulled it back, but I felt great. We went with the flow.”

Friday’s contest is the first of a four-game homestand for Texas that will be capped by the Big 12 opener with Texas Tech on Jan. 6.

The Islanders (6-5) head to Austin on the heels of a 102-50 home win over Texas Lutheran on Monday. Five players scored in double figures and the Islanders outshot the visitors 53.6 percent to 24.1 percent from the floor.

Lance-Amir Paul and Jordan Roberts had 14 points each to lead A&M-CC, while Shilo Jackson and Garry Clark added 12 apiece and Owen Deese hit for 10 points. Clark also took 10 rebounds to post his second straight double-double. The Islanders got 59 points from their bench players and earned a 46-35 edge on the glass.

A&M-CC is 21-0 over the last three seasons when shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 21-0 over the last two campaigns when holding the opposition to 70 points or less.

“People are finding their roles, but the biggest part is to love your teammate and play the game the right way,” Islanders coach Jim Shaw said. “This team has a chance to be very, very successful in Southland Conference play. We are focusing on ourselves on a few things defensively, not just offensively, to put us in the best position to compete at a high level on Friday afternoon.”

Texas will be the third in-state Big 12 team the Islanders have faced this season. They lost to Houston and Texas Tech on the road.

–Field Level Media

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