Men's Basketball defeats Tarleton State in final exhibition game
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman guard Daniel Gibson (Houston, Texas) posted 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, to lead No. 16 Texas to an 86-53 victory against Division II Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas) in the Longhorns' final exhibition game on Monday night before 3,798 fans at the Frank Erwin Center. Texas improved to a perfect 14-0 in exhibition contests in the Rick Barnes era.
Junior guard Kenton Paulino (Los Angeles, Calif.) had 13 points (5-of-8 FG) and four assists, while junior forward Brad Buckman (Austin, Texas) also added 13 points (9-of-10 FT), five rebounds and four steals to aid the Texas attack. Senior center Jason Klotz (Houston, Texas) tallied 12 points (6-of-9 FG), five boards and two blocks in 19 minutes, and freshman forward LaMarcus Aldridge (Dallas, Texas) recorded 11 points and six rebounds.
"We have to get better in a couple of areas," Klotz said following the victory. "We have to get physical and work on rebounding and defense. Other than that, we have guys who can score, so I think we're going to be alright in that area."
Texas, which trailed only once in the contest (2-0), jumped out to a 20-8 lead after a Gibson layup at the 11:53 mark. Tarleton State trimmed the margin to seven points (22-15) following a Randall Williams free throw with 9:47 left. The Longhorns then closed the half with a 19-8 spurt to take a 41-23 lead into halftime.
UT scored the first seven points out of the break to increase its advantage to 48-23 by the 18:08 mark. Leading 54-34 with 13:53 to play, a Klotz jumper and back-to-back steals that were converted into easy layups by Paulino helped start a 22-3 Texas run over the next six minutes which gave the Horns a commanding 76-37 advantage with 8:07 left.
UT held the Texans to 36.4% shooting on the evening and forced 31 turnovers. The Horns hit 46.9% from the floor but were outrebounded by Tarleton State by a 37-36 margin.
Texas freshman forward Mike Williams (Camden, Ala.) missed his second straight exhibition contest, as he continues to await word on a pending NCAA eligibility issue.
Tarleton State was paced by LaShon Sheffield with 17 points, while David Stephens added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Texas tips off the 2004-05 regular season with a home matchup against Texas State on Friday, Nov. 19 (7 p.m.) at the Erwin Center. The contest will not be televised.
On the guard play: Our point guards did a good job of handling the ball and I would only question a few shots. Kenton (Paulino) was good and I told the team that he, Sydmill (Harris) and Kenny (Taylor) were solid on defense. Kenton, Sydmill and Daniel are all interchangeable and I told them that we will use all of them.
SENIOR C JASON KLOTZ
JUNIOR Kenton Paulino