AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jonathan Holmes scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half as Texas cruised to a 66-44 victory over Rice on Monday.
The Longhorns (11-2), who did not win their 11th game last season until mid-February, wrapped up nonconference play with their ninth straight win over the Owls (5-7), who never held a lead in the game.
Holmes scored the first five points of the contest before a Keith Washington 3-pointer tied the game at 8. That was the closest Rice ever got as Texas scored the next five points of the game before going on a 13-2 run to put the game away before halftime.
The Longhorns outrebounded the Owls 22-11 in the first half on their way to taking a 37-19 lead into the second half and never looked back.
Despite getting only 10 points between guards Isaiah Taylor, Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland - who came into the game averaging a combined 34.5 points per game - Texas dominated near the basket, outscoring Rice 34-14 in the paint and not allowing any first-half fast-break points.
Cam Ridley scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half while Connor Lammert finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Longhorns. Ridley, who has missed more free throws than he's made during his Texas career, went 6 of 7 from the free-throw line after going 7 of 10 from the line in his last game against Michigan State.
"I felt good, more confident at the line," Ridley said. "We just wanted to show the world that we're a really good team. We're playing as hard as we can. That helps us be the team that we are."
Rice's Sean Obi recorded his third double-double in the last four games with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Rice was held to 29.1 percent shooting from the floor - the worst mark by a Texas opponent this year - and 20.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
"Holmes and Ridley and Lammert, those three guys hurt us in the interior," Rice head coach Ben Braun said. "That gives them an edge on a lot of teams. It certainly was the difference against us today."
The Longhorns held the Owls scoreless for a 6-minute stretch late in the second half before a jumper by Rice's Bahrom Firozgary capped the contest's scoring with 27 seconds remaining. Owls leading scorer Austin Ramljak was held to three points on 1-of-9 shooting.