Hoops: Horns 'Board' In Blowout

LaMarcus Aldridge posted his second-straight double-double in Texas’ 77-33 win over Samford Wednesday night to push the Horns into next week's semifinals of the Guardians Classic tournament.

With 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds Wednesday following his 19 points and 11 boards in an 89-56 victory over Southern in the first round of the tourney Tuesday night, the sophomore center earned the award as the Most Valuable Player in the Austin region by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The Horns advanced to the semifinals in Kansas City to face West Virginia on Monday, Nov. 21.

Aldridge played 30 minutes and led his squad in rebounding, but many other Horns got in on the action down low, as Texas set a school record with a +39 rebounding margin. Texas totaled 54 boards, with F Brad Buckman grabbing nine and F P.J. Tucker adding another eight to break the previous UT record of a +33 margin.

"We’ve got a bunch of guys that love to rebound, so it gets pretty selfish down there," said Buckman. "That’s one of our goals every game. If we can have a team rebounding effort, it makes our team much better."

The Longhorn defense also shined on the night, as the 33 points allowed is the lowest amount granted in a game since 1951. The squad limited Samford to just 26% shooting on the night.

"Our guys saw something we want to see on the defensive side," said coach Rick Barnes. "They are disciplined and knew their roles."

Texas jumped to a quick lead in the first half with Aldridge nailing a pair of field goals and Buckman tacking on five free throws to give the Horns an 11-5 edge. After a drought that saw Texas commit four turnovers, Aldridge and Tucker exchanged lay-ups to give the Horns their momentum back.

Tucker finished the night with a team-high 22 points.

After leading 19-7, G J.D. Lewis drained back-to-back three-pointers, and when Tucker added a two-point jumper and a lay-up, Texas entered the break with a 30-13 lead.

By yielding only 13 points in the period, the game marked Texas’ best first-half defensive effort since 1949.

Gibson started the second half off with a trey, his only points of the night, and Tucker and Buckman swapped baskets to put Texas ahead 44-22 with 13 minutes left in the contest. Following a 9-4 Texas run, G A.J. Abrams came off the bench and drained a pair of three-pointers to start a new 15-0 run.

Texas shot 30 percent (6-of-20) from behind the arc and 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the field in the game.

"Having a supporting cast is a great thing," said Buckman. "When we made a Final Four run a couple years ago, that’s what we had. If each person just does what they need to be doing, we are going to be a tough team to beat."

F Dion Dowell scored five points to close out the second half, with his most impressive basket coming off an alley-oop pass from Gibson.

Gibson led the team in scoring in 2004, but has had a quiet start to the season. Barnes is not concerned, though.

"I am not worried about Daniel," said Barnes. "He has been in enough situations to figure it out, and I think these two games have been a good experience for him."

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