Aggies Fall to Horns in Austin

The Texas Aggie basketball team continued its offensive struggles in Austin as the Longhorns squeezed out an ugly 61-51 victory in the last scheduled meeting between the two schools in the capitol city.

Texas A&M junior Khris Middleton had game highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but a late Texas run lifted the Longhorns to a 61-51 victory Wednesday night in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown before 13,917 fans at the Frank Erwin Center.

The double-double, the first of Middleton's career, kept the Aggies (9-6, 0-3 Big 12) in a tight battle for most of the night, but a 9-3 run by Texas (12-4, 2-1) over a three-minute span late in the second half proved to be the difference.

With A&M holding a 1-point lead with 12 minutes to go, the Longhorns went on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 8, fueled by a put-back dunk by Alexis Wangmene and a steal and lay-up by Sterling Gibbs. The Aggies answered though, as Middleton drained a jumper and Elston Turner hit a three from the top of the key to make the score 43-40 Texas with 7:57 left.

Middleton answered a Clint Chapman bucket with a pair of free throws, pulling A&M to with three at 45-42 with 7:20 to play. The Longhorns, however, scored nine of the next 12 points to go up by nine-the last three coming on a 3-pointer by Julien Lewis deep in the corner to put UT up 54-45 with 3:34 to go. J'Covan Brown would hit his final six free throws of the night to put the game out of reach.

The teams were in a defensive battle for most of the entire first half before the shots started falling. The Longhorns led by one, 12-11, with just under 8 minutes to go, before extending the lead to eight behind the shooting of Jaylen Bond and Sheldon McClellan.

Trailing 23-15 with under 3 to play, Middleton got hot-draining a three and back-to-back buckets-to pull A&M to within three at 25-22. After Texas hit the back end free throw of a two-shot foul and looked to extend the lead before the break, Aggie freshman Jordan Green picked Sterling Green at mid-court and went all the way in for a dunk with 13 seconds left. The steal and slam pulled A&M to within two, 26-24, at the break.

Elston Turner scored 13 and David Loubeau added 10 for A&M. Lewis scored a team-high 16 for the Longhorns, while Brown added 14-10 from the line-and Chapman poured in 11.

Texas A&M returns to action on Saturday when the Aggies host Texas Tech at Reed Arena. Tipoff is set for 12:45 p.m. and the game will air on Big 12 Network.

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