In what has become a series completely dominated by the home team, it was the Longhorns turn to shine on Wednesday night. Texas throttled Texas A&M and cruised to an impressive 81-60 victory at the Erwin Center. With the win, the ‘Horns improve to 15-3 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12. The loss breaks the Aggies' 13 game winning streak and drops A&M to 3-1 in conference.
As noted in the Oklahoma review, tonight's affair was the beginning of a very tough, possibly season defining, five game stretch. Texas needed to at least protect its home court, and the Longhorns did so in style.
This was a team win from start to finish, and Texas won just about ever facet of the game. The Longhorns shot a scorching 58% from the floor, while holding A&M to 41%, a number inflated by some late buckets when the game was well in hand. A&M is an excellent rebounding team, but the ‘Horns won the battle on the glass 31-23. Texas also protected the ball beautifully and finished with 16 assists on 29 made buckets to just eight team turnovers. Finally, Texas attacked the basket, got the Aggies in foul trouble, and capitalized at the stripe. The Longhorns nailed, what has to be a season best, 86% from the free throw line, on 19-of-22.
One final team note, Texas led by a dozen at the break. However, this is a good Texas A&M team, and it still felt like the Aggies could still make this a game. Credit the continued scoring punch from Hamilton and Thompson but also the Texas defense with not allowing that to happen. The man-ball pressure and the help side defense are as good as I've seen in the Barnes era--and that's saying something.
If something could possibly go right for Texas tonight, it did.
Jordan Hamilton was unstoppable, 27 points on 10-of-14 from the floor. Tristan Thompson was a beast on both ends-18 points, six boards, and four blocked shots. Gary Johnson went to war and killed the Aggies with his face-up mid-range jumper. He contributed 14 points on an efficient 6-of-9 from the field. Cory Joseph didn't get into scoring mode until late but he added value in other ways. His defense was spectacular and he added four boards and three assists. How about J'Covan Brown-eight points, six boards, six assists, and just one turnover. Yes, please!
Tonight was thoroughly enjoyable! Consider this your celebration thread.
Next Game: at Kansas - Saturday, January 22nd 3 PM CBS