AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas coach Rick Barnes shuffled his
starting lineup and came up with a winner Monday night.
Freshman P.J. Tucker scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed
15 rebounds in his first collegiate start to lead the Longhorns (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) to an 88-72 victory over George Washington."P.J. Tucker dominated the game," George Washington coach Karl
Hobbs said. "He truly was the difference."The Longhorns (6-2) opened the game with an 11-0 run that was
keyed by three inside baskets by Tucker. The 6-foot-5 Tucker, who
was held scoreless in Texas' 89-61 loss to then-No. 3 Duke on Dec.
20, made his first five shots and was 12-of-16 for the game. All of
his field goals were within 5 feet of the basket."P.J. was unstoppable tonight," Texas forward Brian Boddicker
said. "He got whatever he wanted down low."The Colonials (6-5) finally scored when Carl Elliott hit a
3-pointer with 15:11 left in the first half. Another 3-pointer and
a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Elliott made it 17-12 before
the Longhorns put together a 15-0 run midway through the first
half.Kenny Taylor hit two 3-pointers and had eight points during the
run, while Royal Ivey had a steal and a stutter-step drive to the
basket that resulted in a three-point play. Tucker capped the run
with another strong move to the basket for a layup, and the
Longhorns led 32-12 with 7:29 left in the first half.George Washington cut the lead to 62-50 with 9:44 to play behind
the strong outside shooting of Greg Collucci, who hit five 3s in
the second half.But Texas pulled away again behind the inside presence of
Tucker, who had 10 offensive rebounds, and the outside shooting of
Taylor, who finished with 19 points, including five 3-pointers.Collucci led George Washington with 23 points, while T.J.
Thompson added 19.Tucker, who came in averaging 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds, has
four double-doubles in eight games."Tucker is without a doubt the surprise player in the
country," Hobbs said.Barnes was pleased with Tucker's play."P.J. Tucker definitely had an impressive night," Barnes said.