Hoops: Paulino Sparks Horns In Road Win

An unlikely hero rose to the occasion in Texas' 78-58 win over Iowa State Monday night, as G Kenton Paulino paced his team with 20 points, catching fire in the first half to help the Horns slowly pull away for the road win.

Just days after setting a career high with 18 points in a victory over Colorado in the conference opener, Paulino broke his new mark Monday, this time relying on long range shooting to help the No. 8 Horns (13-2) improve to 2-0 in Big 12 play.

Paulino finished a searing 6-of-8 from behind the arc, while his backcourt teammate G Daniel Gibson joined in on the three point shooting barrage. Gibson nailed 4-of-8 from long distance and finished the night with 19 points and seven rebounds. Texas finished 26-of-53 (49.1 percent) from the field.

The Longhorns looked sharp on defense as well, limiting G Curtis Stinson, the Cyclones’ main offensive weapon, to just seven points while holding ISU to 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) from the field.

After the Cyclones jumped out of the gate with three straight treys, Texas looked for points down low, and F P.J. Tucker, C LaMarcus Aldridge and F Brad Buckman each answered. Paulino then introduced himself to the Ames crowd with a three-point jumper, putting Texas on top 13-11. Tucker ended his night with 17 points and seven boards, while Aldridge scored nine and pulled down 10 boards.

Following a pair of quick ISU buckets, Paulino and G A.J. Abrams responded with three pointers, giving Texas a three-point edge with seven minutes to go in the first half. Abrams’ shot turned out to be the only bench points of the ballgame for Texas.

The Cyclones came close to bridging the gap, but before ISU could regain a lead, Paulino followed a Buckman field goal with three straight three pointers to give the Horns a 34-29 advantage at the half.

After exchanging baskets to start the second half, Tucker started a 9-0 Texas run with a pair of free throws. During the stretch, Paulino connected on yet another long-range shot.

With the Horns up 10 points mid-way through the half, Buckman rolled in a lay up, and Gibson added a three pointer and two shots from the charity stripe, and widening the Longhorn advantage. Buckman went on to finish with 10 points.

Gibson caught fire late in the game, connecting on three shots from the perimeter and tacking on three free throws in a five minute span before the Horns sealed the deal on the 20-point win.

After losing consecutive games to Duke and Tennessee earlier in the season, the Horns have now won their last five games by double digits. Texas faces its final non-conference foe of the regular season Saturday at noon when No. No. 3 Villanova (10-1) travels to Austin.

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