Hoops: Another Poor Road Effort For Horns

For the second time in two weeks, Texas found itself on the receiving end of a court-storming crowd Wednesday night when Texas A&M's Acie Law drained a three-pointer at the buzzer in a 46-43 Aggie upset over the Longhorns.

While Texas A&M’s newest hero deserves much of the credit for putting the No. 7 Horns (24-5, 12-3) away, it was a crucial Longhorn mistake that put the Aggie guard in position to win the game.

With the game tied and just seconds left on the clock, F P.J. Tucker lost sight of the shot clock and dribbled around until it expired, giving possession to the Aggies (19-7, 9-6) with 5.9 ticks left. From there, following the timeout Law took the inbound pass and sunk the game-winner to support Texas A&M’s bid for the NCAA Tournament.

"It was just bad execution," said Tucker. "I let my teammates down. I didn't run the play right. We didn't get the shot up."

The Aggies have now beaten the Horns in College Station two years in a row, with this year’s defeat sending Texas back into a tie with Kansas for first place in the Big 12.

Just one game removed from a dominating performance against the Jayhawks, the Horns came out Wednesday with an entirely different attitude, playing lackadaisical with the ball. Texas connected on a mere 13-of-39 (33.3 percent) from the field, while being held to its lowest scoring outing this season.

The Horns struggled on all aspects of offense, connecting on just 4-of-16 (25.0 percent) from behind the arc. Tucker finished with 11 points and as the only Texas player to score in the double digits. Texas’ other main scoring threats, C LaMarcus Aldridge and G Daniel Gibson, scored just five and six points, respectively. Forward Brad Buckman scored a lowly two points but did manage to pull down a team-best 11 rebounds.

Both teams came out of the gate firing, with Gibson tossing in a three-pointer and assisting Tucker on a lay up on the next play to start things off for the Horns. From then on, though, defenses took over.

After a pair of G A.J. Abrams free throws gave Texas a three-point lead with over 11 minutes left in the first half, Texas A&M regained the lead until a Gibson lay up put Texas back on top, 20-18. UT later went on a 7-2 run, but the Aggies responded by scoring the final four points of the half, sending the Horns to break with just a one-point lead.

After a quick two by both squads to start the second half, a scoring draught ensued until Paulino connected on a long-range shot. After the Aggies answered with a three pointer, neither team scored for another four minutes. The lead shifted back and forth until the Aggies put together a 6-0 run to gain a four-point edge with four minutes left in the contest.

With just over a minute left, Aldridge threw down a dunk and Buckman tacked on a pair of free throws to bring the game to a tie until Law struck the fatal blow.

Despite the upset, Texas is not losing sight of its championship vision.

"It's always about how you bounce back," said Gibson. "We still feel like we're a great team. We've still got the opportunity to go out and show some things."

The final regular season opportunity will come Sunday in Austin vs. Oklahoma (20-6, 11-4). A Longhorn win will clinch at least a tie for the Big 12 regular season title and the No. 1 seed in next weekend's Big 12 Tournament. A loss to the Sooners, coupled with a Kansas win in its season finale at K-State, and the Horns would tie OU for second in the standings behind the Jayhawks and earn a disappointing three-seed in the league tourney.

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