Hoops: Longhorn Big Men Punish Pan Am

LaMarcus Aldridge registered his sixth consecutive double-double with a career-high 23 points and 11 boards in No. 2 UT's 82-54 win over UT-Pan Am in Austin, but for only the second time this season, he had company in that exclusive club.

Front court-mates P.J. Tucker pumped in 19 points and 11 boards, and Mike Williams added 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Horns shook off a sluggish first half to blow past the Broncs.

Brad Buckman, who before Tucker and Williams' Tuesday night effort owned the only other Burnt Orange double-double of the season aside from Aldridge, suited out but did not play for the second game in a row due a hip pointer. (Dion Dowell also remained sidelined due to an ankle injury.)

In this one, Buckman wasn't needed. Aldridge, Tucker and Williams dominated the visiting big men. Along with reserve center Connor Atchley, the Longhorn front line combined for 57 (of UT's 82) points, 37 (of 48) rebounds and five blocked shots while Pan Am's starting center Colin Lien and forward Derrick East totaled just 10 points on two of 11 shooting and 10 boards. As a team, Texas won the rebounding battle 48-33.

Texas, and the guards in particular, continues to struggle from the perimeter. The Horns shot 44.8 percent from the field for the game, but hit just five of 21 (23.8 percent) from long range. Daniel Gibson made just two of seven field goal attempts, including one of six from downtown, in an eight-point effort. The sophomore guard did snag five steals and dish out three assists with just one turnover. Kenton Paulino also remains mired in a shooting slump, going 0-fer from beyond the arc and one of four overall. UT's five guards combined to shoot 10 of 25 from the field (four of 19 treys) with 10 assists and eight turnovers.

After Pan Am took an early 11-9 lead, Texas reeled off 13 unanswered points to grab a 20-11 advantage midway through the first half. The cold-shooting Horns couldn't shake the Broncs in the first half, though, as the teams went to the break with Pan Am still within single digits, 32-23. Over the first 20 minutes, Texas shot just 36.4 percent from the field, including an anemic 16.7 percent from beyond the arc, against the Broncs' zone defense.

"We were timid," Tucker said. "We were really trying to get the ball inside. We were really stagnant and weren't flowing as well as we wanted to. There were some shots we missed that we usually make. When you are missing shots like that you just have to play the game like you know how. Once we got going, we really got going."

Texas finally got going over the first few minutes of the second half, powered largely by baseline drives from Tucker and inside the paint moves and follows by Aldridge and Williams. After Daniel Gibson got the Horns on the board after the break with a fast break bucket, the three big guys accounted for UT's next 17 points before J.D. Lewis knocked down his first three of the game to extend the Longhorn lead to 54-36.

Aldridge wasn't done. He scored the Horns' next bucket and then added eight more points and three more boards before earning a well-deserved ovation from the home crowd as he took a seat with just under five minutes to play. Aldridge's sixth straight double-double put him half way to LaSalle Thompson's school record of 12 straight set in 1980. He'll go for seven, and the Horns (6-0) will go for win No. 7, Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. vs. Texas-Arlington in the Erwin Center.


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