Men's Basketball turns up defensive pressure in 97-52 win
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Kenny Taylor scored 23 points and Texas (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) used relentless defensive pressure to roll to a 97-52 win over Centenary on Wednesday night.
The Longhorns (8-2) came back from a tough 89-88 loss at Wake Forest last weekend determined to improve their defense during a five-game holiday homestand.
Texas pressed the overmatched Gents (2-7) from end-to-end from the opening tipoff, tying a school record by allowing just 12 points in the first half. Texas records date to the 1949-50 season.
Kevin Taylor scored 14 points to lead Centenary, including four 3-pointers in the second half.
The Longhorns scored virtually at will against a Gents lineup that didn't start a player taller than 6-foot-6. Kenny Taylor was 10-of-13 from the field and Texas turned 25 turnovers into 35 points.
Texas' 6-10 center LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points and started a 17-3 run that blew the game open when he blocked a shot and then raced down court to finish the breakaway with an alley-oop dunk on a pass from fellow freshman Daniel Gibson. Aldridge had four blocks in the first half.
Soon, the Longhorns started hitting from outside as well. Gibson and Sydmill Harris hit 3-pointers and Kenny Taylor hit two in the half, including a 25-footer that swished through at the buzzer giving Texas a 42-12 lead.
Meanwhile, the Gents hit just one basket over the final 10 minutes of the first half, going 5-of-24 from the field. The Longhorns shot 63 percent for the game.
Texas kept up the pressure in the second half. After three minutes of the second half, the Gents had more fouls (15) than points (14).
Freshman Mike Williams added 13 points and 10 rebounds in his first significant playing time this season, becoming the fourth Longhorn to record a double-double this season.
ON THE TEAM: We have worked very hard the last two days. We went three hours on Monday and watched the tape on Sunday. It showed that we did not play well on defense. We had a tough workout yesterday and I was almost afraid it would affect us tonight. The guards were more physical tonight. Overall, I think Kenny Taylor was the player of the game on both ends.
P.J. Tucker, Sophomore Forward
Kenny Taylor, Senior Guard
LaMarcus Aldridge, Freshman Center
Centenary head coach, Kevin Johnson
ON THE GAME: They changed up the defense and pressed us a lot. We didn't handle it very well. On the offensive end, Texas has hurt all of their opponents with three-point shooting. They knock down their open looks. They don't miss.
Chad Maclies, Senior Forward