Hoops: Late Run Pushes Horns Past Roadrunners

Less than three minutes into Wednesday night's Erwin Center contest, the rout looked to be on. When Daniel Gibson completed an old-fashioned three-point play for his ninth point of the game at the 17:08 mark of the first half, Texas held a double-digit lead at 15-4.

The Horns pushed the advantage to 12 five minutes later, but UTSA chipped away and chipped away, largely from the free throw line and beyond the arc, taking a 40-39 lead with just inside four to play in the half. The rout had turned into a rumble. And it stayed that way till mid-way through the second half.

Trailing by four, 70-66, with just over 12 to play, Texas closed the game on a 34-12 run to earn a 100-82 win over the guys from down I-35. P.J. Tucker led the Horns' second half charge, scoring 19 of his team-high 21-points after the break while ripping down a game-high 12 rebounds.

"I had to step up (in the second half) and be a leader to get everyone going," Tucker said. "I tip my cap to UTSA. We knew they would be good. You can't win a game like this in five or 10 minutes. You have to play the full 40 minutes. Our effort on defense picked up in the second half, but there is still room for a lot of improvement."

Texas held the Roadrunners to 13 second half field goals (out of 30 attempts), still good for a respectable 44.9 percent from the field but not enough to keep pace with the Horns' 51.5 percent clip after the break. UT finished the game hitting 50 percent of its field goal attempts but just 33.3 percent from downtown. UTSA knocked down 44.9 percent overall and 50 percent from three-point land.

"I like the way we responded after the first half," Rick Barnes said. "It was a first half I expected from UTSA. I give them credit. They made their shots. It was a hard played game. Our size inside eventually wore them down."

Texas got balanced play from its posts. Brad Buckman scored 12 and grabbed six boards, LaMarcus Aldridge added 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, Jason Klotz totaled eight points and seven swats and Mike Williams collected seven points and cleaned the glass five times in 13 minutes. UT's 13 blocks tied a school record and the Horns owned a 47-31 rebounding advantage on the night.

Gibson finished with 19 points, five assists and five turnovers. Kenny Taylor struggled from outside, hitting just one of seven three-point attempts, but the senior guard hit five of seven from inside the arc to total 13 points. He also had seven boards.

Justin Harbert came off the bench to lead UTSA with 25 points on 10 of 12 shooting, including five of seven threes.

The Horns (9-2) next take on UNLV Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the Drum in their next-to-last non-conference tune-up before league play tips a week later in Austin vs. Baylor.

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