Same Ol', Same Ol'

COLLEGE STATION — Different setting, same end result. The Texas Longhorns continued their hot run with a too-easy 69-49 victory over the rival Texas A&M Aggies, making a believer of Aggie coach Mark Turgeon.

"I told Rick if they keep improving and stay healthy they can win a national championship," Turgeon said. "I haven't said that about many teams. I said that about Kansas the year they won it. I've been doing this 24 years and I haven't seen many teams as good as Texas."

It's hard to argue with him. Texas (19-3, 7-0 Big 12) has dominated its seven conference games by an average of nearly 19 points per game, with the closest contest coming in an 11-point road win over Kansas. Included in that list was a 21-point whooping of the Aggies (17-4, 4-3) in Austin less than two weeks ago.

This one figured to be somewhat different. After all, the Longhorns played lights-out in Austin, and Texas hadn't win in College Station since 2004.

Neither mattered. The Longhorns jumped up huge early, taking a 25-point lead into halftime at 45-20. The second half wasn't much better, with the Longhorns coasting to an easy win behind 20 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks from Jordan Hamilton. Cory Joseph had 11 points and three assists to no turnovers, while Tristan Thompson chipped in 10 points and three blocks.

Texas A&M's leading scorer Khris Middleton was held without a point in the game, going 0-9 from the field while picking up four fouls and two turnovers in 24 minutes. The game might have gotten even more out of hand if not for a surpassing 19 points from an atypically offensive B.J. Holmes. Holmes shot 6-8 from the field and made 6-8 from the line. But his performance wasn't enough to bring up his teammates, who shot a dismal 23.4 percent from the field.

As in the first game, Texas enjoyed an edge on the boards, grabbing 41 to Texas A&M's 33.

Now another question mark is behind the Longhorns. They've already fended off the top two teams in the North in Kansas and Missouri, won the South's toughest road game at Oklahoma State, and beaten the No. 2 team in the South twice. It's just seven games in, and it's a valid question to ask who is left to challenge the 'Horns.

Games against Baylor don't appear to be as tough as they did at the beginning of the season, and neither does a home matchup with a reeling K-State team. In fact, Texas's next challenge might not come until Feb. 19 at feisty Nebraska.

Not that this team thinks that way. If they've shown one trait through this season, it's an ability to dust everything off — good and bad — and go to work like the next game is the season's most important contest. And that's a big part of the reason why, after seven games and the destruction of a rival on the road, the Longhorns are favored to go far in the NCAA Tourney.


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