Gibson's Late-Game Heroics Give Texas Road W

Guard Daniel Gibson caught fire late in the game Saturday in Nebraska, scoring all 12 of his points in the second half to lead the Longhorns to a 63-53 victory over Nebraska.

Texas (13-3, 2-1) bounced back from an upset defeat at Texas A&M earlier in the week with a win in Lincoln despite another sub-par shooting performance.

The Longhorns (ranked No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll) shot 20-of-47 (42 percent), but finished well below the team’s season average of 42 percent from behind the arc, going just 4-of-18 (22 percent) from three-point range.

Forward P.J. Tucker came into the contest as Texas’ leading scorer, but Texas bruiser connected on just 2-of-7 attempts for five points.

Playing with stitches above his eye and in his mouth from an injury sustained in College Station days before, Gibson led his squad with 12 points and three assists despite a silent first half.

With the game still in question in the final few minutes, Gibson took the reins of the Texas offense and opened the scoring gap to give the Horns a win and extend Texas’ record to 6-1 against the Huskers in the Rick Barnes era.

"I thought Daniel Gibson was terrific the last four minutes of the game, taking control for us," Rick Barnes said of his true freshman point guard. "After he took that last three (around the six minute mark), we felt like we could penetrate and get into a situation where we could draw some fouls. He’s been taught that as a guy goes under the ball screen, he should shoot. I told him in that situation, you have to take the ball to the basket and make things happen. He learned a lot today. We went 1-4 low, he was great in taking advantage of the mismatch."

The Longhorns continued their streak of playing good basketball coming off of a loss, having now won 14 of their last 15 games following a loss during the past four seasons.

Nebraska (8-5, 2-1) also struggled on offense, as the Horns held the Huskers to just 18-of-53 (34 percent) from the field. The Huskers also shot poorly from the free-throw line, finishing 9-of-19 (47 percent) from the foul line. Texas, which has struggled much of the season from the foul line, turned things around, nailing 19-of-27 (70 percent) from the charity stripe.

Guard Joe McCray finished with a game-high 21 points, including 15 points in the first half.

The Horns started the game in Lincoln where they left off in College Station, shooting terribly from the field and allowing Nebraska to start the game with three straight three-pointers. After starting the game in the hole and down by 11, C LaMarcus Aldridge put Texas on the board and kick-started a 6-0 Longhorn run to bridge the scoring gap.

The Huskers led for much of the first period until G Sydmill Harris connected on a pair of baskets from beyond the arc, and a Kenny Taylor lay-up gave Texas its first lead with five minutes to go in the half.

Harris finished with 11 points and led his team in long-range shooting with two treys.

After starting the game poorly, the Longhorns fought back before the half to tie the game at 26 at the break.

In the second half, Nebraska came out shooting as cold as the Lincoln air, and Texas quickly took a four-point lead after a pair of Aldridge buckets.

Poor Texas shooting prevented the Burnt Orange from extending the lead, and Nebraska brought the game to a 37-37 tie with 11 minutes to play.

Texas was dealt a blow with just over seven minutes left when Aldridge fell to the court with a knee injury. The big man hobbled to the locker room and eventually made his way back to the Texas bench but sat out for the remainder of the game with an ice pack on his left knee.

Aldridge finished his day with 10 points and eight rebounds.

In Aldridge’s absence, Gibson and the other Longhorn players stepped up to fill the void and slowly built on a lead.

"Coach Barnes keeps us focused," Gibson said. "No matter what type of runs teams make, no matter how far ahead or how far you are behind. Always stay relaxed and confident in what you do."

Taylor, who ended the game with nine points, added five points in the final three minutes, and two G Kenton Paulino free-throws sealed the deal and allowed Texas to escape Nebraska with the 10-point win.

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