Longhorns Throttle Rival Razorbacks

Many times, statistics can be indicative of the way a game went. In the case of Texas's 79-46 throttling of rival Arkansas Tuesday night, the most appropriate stats might have been fast break points.

Texas, which was able to create turnovers and own the defensive glass, was able to run and fluster the Razorbacks with 16 points on the break. The Razorbacks didn't score a fast break bucket until 1:01 left in the game, with the contest long since decided.

Why is that stat appropriate? It reflects the completeness of the Texas (12-2) defensive effort and the Longhorns' ability to limit any easy buckets for the Razorbacks (10-3). The 33-point Longhorn margin of victory was the most ever in a Texas win in the series, topping Texas's 24-point win in the 1971-1972 season.

"We talk about not letting people deflate our defense," said Texas coach Rick Barnes.

Nobody on the Arkansas roster was able to deflate Texas Tuesday.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half, though the Longhorns roared to a 37-24 edge. But Texas gained its edge at the three-point line — the Longhorns were 4-8 while the Razorbacks were 1-6 — and in points off turnovers, where the Longhorns led 12-2. Jordan Hamilton scored 10 points and was followed closely by seven apiece from Gary Johnson and J'Covan Brown. Arkansas's leading scorer was Jeff Peterson, who also scored seven.

Razorback scorer Rotnei Clarke shot just 0-2 and was held scoreless for the first half.

The blowout was even more complete in the second half. The Longhorns started the half on an 8-0 run and never looked back, pushing the lead into the 30s when Matt Hill dropped in a jumper, making the score 67-37 and even topping 40 when Cory Joseph fed Dogus Balbay for a reverse layup and a 79-38 win.

Clarke was obviously frustrated by the pressure supplied by the Longhorn defense. He finished with 11 points, but only had three points before the 3:23 mark, coming on a three-point play less than three minutes into the second half. Peterson also scored 11.

Hamilton paced four Longhorns in double digits with 16 points, while he also had a pair of blocks. Tristan Thompson and Johnson combined for 27 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Jai Lucas scored 13 and was praised by Barnes for his lockdown defense on Clarke.

The win was the latest for a Texas team that has turned what was supposed to be a difficult five-game stretch on its head. After a last-second win over North Carolina, Texas went on to win the next three games, including Tuesday's matchup, much more comfortably. The final effort in that non-conference string will come on Saturday, when Texas hosts Connecticut.

"(Texas is) going to be really dangerous," said Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "They're going to be one of a handful of teams that is going to have a chance (to win a title)."


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