Hoops: No. 2 Horns Move To 7-0

With the help of G Daniel Gibson and his career-high 29 points, Texas shot lights out from the field in a 93-55 victory over Texas-Arlington Saturday night at the Erwin Center.

After failing to reach double-digits in scoring the past two games, Gibson snapped the skid by nailing 12-of-19 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from behind the arc to help the No. 2 Horns finish the contest a season high 33-of-58 (56.9 percent) from the field.

Gibson entered the game averaging just 10.5 points a game while shooting an unimpressive 33.9 percent from the field after leading the squad in scoring last season.

"Daniel played terrific and I thought he was better on the defensive end today," said coach Rick Barnes. "Offensively, he had six assists and he could have had more tonight. He always tells me whatever he has to do to make this team better, he’ll do."

P.J. Tucker joined Gibson in the scoring barrage and racked up a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge’s streak of six consecutive double-doubles came to an end. The sophomore center finished with 14 points but just a season-low four boards.

After missing two games in a row with a hip pointer, F Brad Buckman returned to the court and tallied 13 points, showing no signs of any lingering injury.

"I felt good," said Buckman. "Being out a couple of games slows you down a bit, but I’m glad I had the chance to play with the team again."

The big difference-maker in the contest proved to be points off turnovers, with the Horns outscoring the Mavericks 26-9 in that category.

Texas jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead to start the game with a Tucker layup and ensuing free throw getting things going. Buckman capped off the run with a jump shot after pulling down a rebound at the other end of the court.

After UT-Arlington answered back with five points, Tucker and Gibson both nailed jumpers to give Texas a 13-5 edge. A three-pointer brought the Mavericks to within three points with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, but Texas responded with a 7-0 run with Aldridge connecting on a jump shot to hand the Horns a 22-12 lead.

The 10-point margin went back and forth for the next few minutes until G A.J. Abrams and Gibson both missed from the perimeter, and the Mavericks pulled to within four points with four minutes to go. Texas then caught fire and scored 11 more points before the break while giving up just one basket in that span, and the Horns entered the second half with plenty of momentum ahead 40-26.

From then on, Texas built on the lead and the game became one-sided.

Aldridge drained a pair of shots from the charity stripe to start the second period, and Gibson followed with a trey to push the lead to 18 points. Tucker and Gibson both found openings in the lane to tack on layups, while Buckman tossed in two free throws to give Texas a 52-34 lead.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Gibson connected on two shots from behind the arc and took a Tucker pass to the basket for a dunk, triggering a 10-0 Texas run. Gibson continued to tack on points for the rest of the half, and the Texas bench got in on the scoring action as well, with F Mike Williams and C Connor Atchley combining for nine points in the half.

One area of concern for the Horns continues to be three-point shooting, with Texas making just 2-of-8 (25.0 percent) from long range in the first half. The Horns responded later in the game though, and connected on 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) three-pointers in the second half to finish the game with a 36.8 percent outing on the night.

The Longhorn defense played aggressive all night and held the Mavericks to just 36.2 percent from field goal range in the game. With a 7-0 record, Texas is off to its best start since opening 14-0 in 1981.


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