Hamilton sinks 5 treys and Texas cruises in Big 12 opener

Will Anderson

The only things missing from Jordan Hamilton’s performance in Saturday’s win over Oklahoma were a cape and red block-letter ‘S’ emblazoned on his chest.

Hamilton tied a career high with five 3-pointers, part of his 17 points, to go with six rebounds and four assists in a 66-46 dismantling of the Sooners.

The sophomore swingman found his range on the perimeter and was able to create open shots for himself by cutting through Oklahoma’s zone defense and along the baseline.

“I thought it was Christmas out there,” Hamilton said about the space defenders gave him. “I just knocked down some shots because my team did a great job of finding me when I was open.”

He scored from the top of the arc and in the corners and was laregly unchallenged in his shot selection.

“We lost Hamilton twice [in the zone],” said Oklahoma guard Cade Davis. “You can’t leave a good shooter like that open.”

Davis was referring to a pair of back-to-back treys by Hamilton to start the second half that helped the Longhorns pull away after a slow opening period. Texas struggled early on in part because of seven first-half turnovers. The team finished with 10 turnovers overall.

Forwards Tristan Thompson and Gary Johnson added 15 and 14 points, respectively, as Texas won its 13th-consecutive conference home opener.

Oklahoma forward Andrew Fitzgerald led his team with 18 points but was the only Sooner to reach double digits in scoring.

The game was a snapshot of Hamilton’s evolution as a player in his second season of college basketball. In the paint he was more than happy to dish the ball, including a behind-the-back assist to J’Covan Brown early in the second half. Hamilton was criticized at times last year for his shoot-first mentality.

“They brought the double team, so I was looking for J’Covan open on that pass right there,” Hamilton said. “We want to play inside-out.”

Cory Joseph added two 3-pointers while Oklahoma shot a combined 1-of-15 from long range. It was one of the Longhorns' best defensive performances as they held their opponents to less than 50 points for the third time all season.