McClellan leads Texas over Coppin State 69-46

Associated Press Modified: November 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm •  Published: November 12, 2012
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sheldon McClellan scored a career-high 25 points, helping Texas overcome sloppy ball-handling and poor free-throw shooting in a 69-46 victory over Coppin State on Monday night in a Maui Invitational opening-round game.

The Longhorns (2-0) used a stifling zone defense to overcome 26 turnovers and 55 percent free-throw shooting. Coppin State (0-2) shot just 25.5 percent from the floor and made only 14 field goals, five of them 3-pointers.

"I know I have to score but it's not really on my mind," McClellan said. "We're not satisfied with the way we played offensively, but we will get better. I'm happy with the win, but not happy with the way we got it."

Texas's 26 turnovers were more than in any game in 2011-12. The Longhorns are without sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, as the NCAA continues to look into his relationship with an agent.

Freshman Javan Felix, starting for Kabongo and playing a team-high 33 minutes, had eight of those turnovers and was the only Texas player with more than two minutes of court time who didn't score.

Texas eschewed its normal man-to-man defense and played zone throughout the game, despite the fact that Coppin State uses mostly a four-guard lineup.

"In the last two and a half weeks, we have had to remake ourselves without Myck, and it shows," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Defensively we are playing zone because of Myck's situation and the fact that we are undermanned at the point. We can't have 26 turnovers, and especially eight from our point guard. We are out of rhythm without Myck in there because we have worked with him at that spot for the past four months."