AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas keeps rolling at home and inching closer to its first Big 12 title in seven years.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points on near-perfect shooting and a stellar defensive effort on Kansas' Brandon Rush sent the No. 7 Longhorns to an 80-55 win Saturday night, pushing the No. 16 Jayhawks a game back in the chase for the conference title.
Aldridge hit his first eight shots, not missing until Texas had a 20-point lead late in the second half. He finished 9-of-10 from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and had four blocks.
P.J. Tucker added 19 points and eight boards for the Longhorns (24-4, 12-2), who tied a school record for the most wins in a regular season.
The Longhorns also got 20 points off the bench, 12 from freshman point guard A.J. Abrams, to stay undefeated at home in conference play. Texas shot 55 percent and outrebouned Kansas 36-19 to snap the Jayhawks' 10-game winning streak
"We got a terrific effort from everyone," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "But we know we've got another week left in the regular season."
Texas hasn't won the Big 12 since 1999, Barnes' first season in Austin.
Kansas (20-7, 11-3) starts three freshmen and can still play for at least a share of a sixth conference title if Texas slips against either Texas A&M on the road or at home against Oklahoma in the season finale.
Julian Wright scored 18 to lead the Jayhawks. Rush, their leading scorer this season, had a miserable night, going 1-for-8 to finish with 3 points. He spent much of the night matched up against Tucker.
"I knew I had to play good defense on him," Tucker said. "As a team, we guarded him well. Our zone helped out a lot."
The game matched the league's best defensive teams and the Jayhawks managed to shut down Tucker and shooting guard Daniel Gibson in the first half, holding them to 1-for-7 shooting.
But as good he was against Tucker on defense, Rush struggled to find shots against the Longhorns' mix of zone and man defenses. Rush was 0-for-4 in the first half and turned the ball over when he was unaware that the shot clock was winding down.
The Jayhawks tried to double down on Aldridge whenever they could, but the 6-foot-10 center still went 6-for-6 in the half, going over defenders with turnaround jumpers and hook shots. His 12 points in the half offset 12 by Wright, who stretched high for an alley-oop dunk that pulled Kansas within 21-19.
A 15-8 Texas run to close the half gave Texas a cushion it rode for the rest of the game.
Abrams hit two of his four 3-pointers in the half and Aldridge put back Tucker's missed layup in the final second to send Texas into halftime leading 36-27.
"They were doubling P.J. I got some good looks on kickouts from him," said Abrams, whose production came as a surprise to Kansas coach Bill Self.
"Aldridge, we knew he was going to score," Self said. "Abrams, we didn't count on him coming in and getting 12."
Tucker hit his first shot of the second, driving into the lane, faking left, then going right to bank it in over two defenders. He then fed an assist to Gibson for a 3-pointer that made it 45-33.
Two straight Kansas turnovers by Rush and Wright and Tucker's putback dunk trailing a missed layup forced Self to call his second timeout in three minutes.
It did little to squelch the Texas run. When Gibson hit his second straight 3-pointer, Texas led 52-35 with 14:47 to play.
The Longhorns got the lead as high as 22 before Kansas showed brief signs of a rally. Mario Chalmers and Rush hit 3-pointers to cut the Texas lead to 16 before the Longhorns reasserted control.
Connor Atchley hit a 3-pointer from the right corner right as the shot clock expired and Tucker scored four in a row to quickly push the Texas lead back to 66-43.
"I thought there were some men playing against guys who were not as old tonight," Self said.
The Longhorns got the impressive win they needed not only in the Big 12 but to push for a potential No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Both of those goals were in jeopardy after a road loss at Oklahoma State and a one-point win at Kansas State.
"We're back on track," Tucker said. "We're trying to get this thing heading right into the postseason tournaments."
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
General Comments: Well, we played bad tonight, but a large part of that was due to Texas. They could be a team that can challenge for it all. They were certainly too much for us to handle tonight. To play with teams that have it all, on their floor, we have another huge step to take.
On moving past this lost: Well, we've been on a pretty good roll and certainly played a bad game tonight. Texas didn't become a bad team after Duke, and we didn't become a bad team after these 40 minutes. We certainly aren't going to dwell on that.
On their defense: We all knew LaMarcus [Aldridge] was going to come out and put up boards and score points, but for [A.J.] Abrams to come out and score the way he did. He was the best player in the first half. He made the difference in the game in the first half.
Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes
On complete performance: The team played really well tonight. A team like Kansas can play around or above you on a lot of different instances, but we did a great job tonight and our bench was key. I knew I wasn't doing a good job helping guys that were tired and our bench really came through, especially Conner [Atchley].
On the Bench: Tonight before the game I told the guys that we would be going to the bench early. I knew we could go to J.D. [Lewis] or Craig [Winder]. I also had talked to the guys to find out when they may need rest during the game. Guys like Mike [Williams], J.D. [Lewis], and Craig [Winder] come in on their days off and do an incredible job helping this team.
On last few games of the regular season: The atmosphere tonight was the best I have seen here at Texas. The whole team put in a great effort and our inside game was just great. Back in the beginning of the season when I was looking at the schedule I knew it was going to be a tough finish for us. We have the game against Texas A&M on the road, then we finish up with Oklahoma at home.
Texas Junior Forward P.J. Tucker
On tonight's big win over Kansas: We are getting near the end of Big 12 play, and we know every team is going to give us a fight. After the last few games, we have had to refocus. We know this was going to be a really big game, and we would have to stay tough. You have to give Kansas a lot of credit. They are such a strong team.
On Texas shooting 55 percent from the field: A lot of guys scored tonight. LaMarcus [Aldridge] stepped it up early and Brad [Buckman] picked up quick too. A.J. [Abrams] came off the bench so strong and really picked it up. Every game in the Big 12 is going to be tough and you have to shoot like that to win. Our bench really contributed as well. Connor [Atchley], A.J., and J.D. [Lewis] got some quality minutes tonight and really helped us out.
Texas Freshman Guard A.J. Abrams
On his first-half play: Daniel [Gibson] got in some foul trouble, and he is our main guard. So when I came in they were double-teaming P.J. and I was able to get some shots in. It is an opportunity for me to look and learn. I just tried not to do things too big and just play my game.
Texas Sophomore Forward LaMarcus Aldridge
On how the team played tonight: I think the team played well tonight. I have to give it up to the bench. They played really well. Overall I think the whole team came through tonight.
On the importance of the game: I think Coach Barnes stresses that any team can beat you any given night. There are no weak teams in the Big 12. Any team can beat you at any time.
On if the team felt they had to prove something tonight: We work hard. We aren't trying to prove anything to the rest of the country, we are just trying to get back on track.