AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- P.J. Tucker scored 25 points and No. 7 Texas survived a 31-point effort from Texas A&M's Joseph Jones to keep its lead in the Big 12 with an 83-70 victory Saturday.
Tucker grabbed 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Jones scored 23 points in the second half to spark an A&M rally but he fouled out with 3:46 to play.
Kenton Paulino added 19 points and Daniel Gibson had 13 for the Longhorns (19-3, 7-1), who entered the weekend with a one-game lead over Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas in the Big 12. The Longhorns also hit 33 of 39 free throws.
Acie Law scored 18 points for the Aggies (13-7, 3-6), who have lost six of their last eight.
The intensity of the game rivaled the emotions these two schools usually have on the football field.
Tucker set the tone early, muscling over defenders for 12 points and six boards in the first half. On one play, he ripped a rebound from Jones, lowered his shoulder and knocked down another defender before dropping in the layup. Jones returned the favor when he knocked down Texas forward Brad Buckman on his way to the basket.
Texas needed Tucker's forceful play near the basket. Center LaMarcus Aldridge picked up two fouls in a 35-second span and spent most of the first half on the bench.
Trailing 35-28 at halftime, the Aggies rallied behind Jones and a trapping defense that harassed the Texas guards as soon as they stepped across midcourt.
Jones scored Texas A&M's first 11 points of the half. Just as important, he drew two critical fouls each on Aldridge and Buckman, sending both players to the bench to soften up the Longhorns' defense.
With those two out of way, Jones scored at will, rarely more than 2 or 3 feet from the basket.
The Aggies' constant pressure on the ball also disrupted the Longhorns' tempo. Texas led 57-40 before turnovers and missed shots helped A&M inch closer. Law cut the lead to 61-53 with two free throws with 9:15 to play.
Texas appeared to burst the rally when Paulino split two defenders to pass to Buckman, who slipped behind Jones for a two-handed dunk. A short hook by Jones pulled the Aggies within six before Buckman made two huge plays.
The first was drawing a foul on offense and hitting two free throws. The second came on defense when Buckman flopped on a drive by Jones, sending Jones to the bench with his fifth foul.
Aldridge, who spent most of the game on the bench, then came up with a rebound basket off a missed 3-pointer to push the Texas lead back to 10. With Jones out, the Aggies couldn't muster a final rally.
· Texas is now 13-2 against the Aggies during the Rick Barnes era.
· UT leads the all-time series between the two schools by a 127-80 margin and has won 32 of the last 36 meetings.
· The Longhorns are now 62-5 (.925) against in-state foes during the Barnes era.
· Texas is 19-0 this season when it outshoots its opponent from the field.
· UT is now 7-1 in conference play and averaging 76.8 ppg, while holding their opponents to 58.3 ppg.
· From the start of the second half of play against Missouri until halftime versus Texas A&M, UT shot 30-of-51 (.588) from the floor (13-24, 54.2% vs. Texas A&M and 17-27, 62.9%).
· Texas has out-rebounded 12 of its last 13 opponents and is 17-1 on the year when it is better off the glass.
· UT recorded a season-high in free-throws made finishing the game 33-of-39 (.846) from the charity stripe.
· With four blocks in the game Buckman passes LaSalle Thompson who had 145 blocks from 1980-82 for fourth place all-time at UT with 146 career blocks.
· With 11 points on the night, he now stands 16 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point plateau.
· With seven rebounds in the game, he becomes the seventh player in UT history to record at least 700 rebounds.
· At the half, Tucker has scored 30 points (12 points vs. Texas A&M, 18 points vs. Missouri) and shot 14-19, 73.7% (5-8 vs. Texas A&M and 9-11 vs. Missouri) from the floor in his last two-halves of basketball.
· He finished the night with 25 points, his eighth 20-point game of the year, second in a row after scoring 20 against Missouri.
· Tucker also recorded his eighth double-double of the season, second in consecutive games (20 pts and 12 rebs. vs. Missouri), with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
· He now has 20 for his career, tied for ninth on the career double-doubles list at UT with Gary Overbeck (1966-68) and Carlton Cooper (1982-85).
· Tucker had a season high with nine made free throws on 11 attempts, one shy of his career high of 10 set against UT-Arlington on Jan. 2, 2004.
· In eight Big 12 contests this season, Paulino has averaged 11.9 ppg while hitting 30-of-62 (.484) field goals, including 22-of-40 (.550) three-pointers.
· Paulino finished with 19 points in the game, his second double digit outing in a row (14 pts vs. Missouri) and ninth time this season.
· He also led the team with four assists and zero turnovers. In UT's last 12 games he has registered 47 assists against 23 turnovers (2.04-to-1 ratio).
· Paulino finished the night hitting on career high 8-for-8 at the free-throw line.
Head Coach, Rick Barnes
On Joseph Jones: Texas A&M is a really good high low team, and they work very hard to get Jones the ball. Jones makes shots, making him a tough guy to guard.
On LaMarcus Aldridge: LaMarcus needs to remember to stay down on defense, and he has a bad habit of reaching. He is going to have to figure it out and become more disciplined on defense. He is too good of a player to get into foul trouble because of going up when he needs to stay in position.
On the run by A&M: Well, that's college basketball. I just told them they needed to finish the game. An 18- point lead is nothing that can't be overcome and in February you expect teams to play hard. The team needs to keep getting smarter, and I think they played well against a team that brought out a lot of pressure all over the floor.
Senior Guard Kenton Paulino
On Texas A&M's Joseph Jones: Obviously he is a very strong player. We had a hard time guarding him, especially with LaMarcus in foul trouble. Jones is great around the basket and now that he is in better shape, he goes harder for much longer.
On today's game: They made a big run early in the second half. We really had to concentrate and settle down. We had to do what we did in the first half in order to pull out the win.
Junior Forward P.J. Tucker
On the transition from and 18-point lead to a six-point lead: With a team like this, you almost have to expect them to go on a big run at some time. They were getting good looks and good shots. But guys like Daniel Gibson did great on defense and we just tried to shut them down inside the paint. We were able to force them to take some tough shots.
On Brad Buckman's big move on Joseph Jones' fifth foul: Brad was playing such great defense. Jones was trying to get in the paint and that was a huge play for us in this game.
Sophomore Guard Daniel Gibson
On playing man defense versus zone defense: We started out playing man defense, but decided in certain situations that the zone would work better. I don't really think either one is better than the other. We decide which one we will play based on the particular situation or game.
Senior Forward Brad Buckman
On playing a physical game: This game was fun. You have to do whatever it takes to win. They had some big guys down low that we really had to bang knees with to get through.
On Texas A&M's play: They have some amazing shooters on the perimeter like Joseph Jones. There was a point where they just weren't missing their shots. They were so physical, so we were trying to do whatever we could to keep them away from the basket. I think their foul trouble was a really big factor today.