Gonzaga vs. Texas SCORE, TAKEAWAYS: Tyrus Hunter out as No. 2 Zags suffer worst loss since 2014

Texas clinched its first big test against a ranked opponent since earlier this year in its brand new Moody Center arena on Wednesday night with a crucial win. Behind a career night from Tyrese Hunter, who finished with 26 points, the Longhorns beat No. 2 Gonzaga 93-74, showcasing their strengths as one of the best — and most entertaining — teams in college basketball.

Gonzaga hung around early and led for a stretch in the first half, but it was too late for the Zags as Longhorns fans lit up the arena to help their team to a 10-point halftime lead. Texas never trailed from there and built its lead to 23 before winning by 19-points in the second half. Gonzaga’s biggest loss since a 23-point loss against Arizona in March 2014.

Everything seemed to be going well for Texas, but instead, the wheels fell off the wagon (the wagon was then sitting on cinder blocks in the middle of the intersection) for Gonzaga. Texas rained down 13 of 33 attempts, didn’t miss a free throw until late (it finished 12 of 16 from the line) and relentlessly pressured the Jags into fouling the perimeter. That was the genesis of Gonzaga’s struggles: It committed 20 turnovers on the night — 11 of which came in the first half — that Texas turned into 27 points. One turnover in particular was part of a frantic streak from Texas that almost blew the lid off the Moody center.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said he thought his team’s conference schedule was the most ambitious he could remember, and Wednesday was an example of that challenge. It came five days after a buzzer-beater survived an aircraft carrier against Michigan State and came ahead of a big Nov. 20 contest against No. 4 Kentucky.

With the win, Texas tied a program record for defeating its highest-ranked AP opponent; Its last win against an AP-ranked team came in 2009 against rival Oklahoma.

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