Buckman scores 18 as Men's Basketball overwhelms Texas A&M
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Brad Buckman had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Texas used a smothering defense to overwhelm rival Texas A&M in a 73-40 rout Wednesday night.
The Longhorns, who had fallen out of the Top 25 this week for the first time in three seasons, avenged a loss to the Aggies a month ago when Texas (17-7, 6-5 Big 12) was ranked No. 10.
Acie Law scored nine to lead A&M (15-7, 4-7), which shot just 26 percent in its 20th consecutive Big 12 road loss. The Aggies went 13-of-50 from the field.
The last time these teams met, Aggie fans stormed the court after an 74-63 A&M victory in College Station. It was the biggest win in coach Billy Gillispie's first season.
There was no similar outburst in Austin. Longhorns fans headed for the exits long before this one was over.
Texas hit five of its first six shots, suffocated the Aggies with tight man-to-man defense and took control when Sydmill Harris hit the first of his two 3-pointers of the half four minutes in.
Trailing 14-6, the Aggies scored just 10 points the rest of the half while the Longhorns hassled A&M shooters on the perimeter and muscled them under the basket after freshman forward Joseph Jones went to the bench with two early fouls.
Kenny Taylor had 12 points in the half and Buckman closed it when he stole the ball at midcourt, split two defenders on the fast break for a reverse layup and converted the 3-point play when he was fouled. Texas led 37-16 at the break.
The Aggies, who lead the Big 12 in fewest points allowed at 61 points per game, didn't have the offense to catch up.
Law, who scored 24 against Texas a month ago, was just 2-of-9 shooting, and couldn't duplicate the performance that overshadowed Texas freshman point guard Daniel Gibson in the last meeting.
Gibson, who was cut over his right eye and suffered a slight concussion a month ago, had 13 points Wednesday night.
Texas just kept stretching the lead, opening the second with a 9-3 run when Harris and Gibson hit 3-pointers to make it 48-19.
Jones, the Aggies' best interior threat and only real hope to match Buckman, fouled out midway through the second and was never a factor with just six points on three shots.
ON BRAD BUCKMAN: He has done what we've been asking. For the past three years, he has kept his consistency. He has had some great games back to back. I feel nine shots in the game are still not enough for him. He is too unselfish. He has his best games when he gets on the free-throw line. We need him to do what he is doing for the rest of the season.
Daniel Gibson, Freshman Guard
ON MAN DEFENSE: Coming into the game, we knew we were going to start out in man, because that was something we have been working on in practice the last few days. Coach saw it working for us and decided to stick with it.
Kenny Taylor, Senior Guard
ON HIS HOT START: I just wanted to come out and be aggressive. I've been working on shooting off the dribble and sticking with it. Daniel did a great job getting me the ball and Brad did a great job getting the rebounds off my misses.
ON THE TOURNAMENT CHANCES: People want to count us out, but our teammates are all we have. We just have to take it one game at a time. The tournament hasn't started yet and no one will know who's in until the brackets come out.
Brad Buckman, Junior Forward
ON KENNY TAYLOR: I was really proud of Kenny tonight. He was getting lots of rebounds and made it easy for me. He is a different guy; he knows the game like no one else.
Texas A&M head coach, Billy Gillispie
ON BRAD BUCKMAN: He's been great all year, but he's really been fantastic since his minutes went up. He was Big 12 Player of the Week and that's what McDonald's All-Americans are supposed to do. I really enjoy watching him play. He's tough. He can score inside and out. He carries out responsibilities. He's really doing what his team needs him to do to win. The thing I really appreciate about Brad that often gets overlooked is his sportsmanship.