<
>

Tucker leads Texas past overmatched Samford

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Two games, two easy wins. Throw in a
smothering defensive performance and the Texas Longhorns (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today; No. 2 AP) are
pretty pleased with the start of the new season.

P.J. Tucker had 22 points and eight rebounds and Texas
overwhelmed Samford defensively in a 77-33 victory Wednesday night
in the second round of the Guardians Classic tournament.

Texas held the Bulldogs to 13 points in the first half, matching
the second-fewest points allowed in a first half by the Longhorns
since the 1949-50 season. The Texas record is 12, a mark
accomplished twice, most recently in last season's 97-52 win over
Centenary.

The Longhorns also outrebounded Samford 54-15. The plus-39
margin smashed the old school record of 33. And the 33 points
allowed matched the fewest surrendered since a 33-32 loss to Texas
A&M in 1951.

The Longhorns (2-0) now move on to the tournament's next round
Monday in Kansas City, where they'll meet West Virginia (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP), a
team that that came within one win of reaching the Final Four last
season.

"West Virginia is a real good team. They made an unbelievable
run in the tournament," Tucker said. "We just went against a
zone, so we got a little time to get ready for it."

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for
the Longhorns who just missed having three players record
double-doubles. Brad Buckman finished with nine points and nine
boards.

"It gets pretty selfish out there" rebounding, Buckman said.
"That's our goal every game."

Although the numbers were ugly by the end, Samford (1-1) served
up an early lesson in frustration for the Longhorns using a zone
defense that drew Texas fouls and a slow-paced Princeton offense
that kept the Texas offense in check.

While Aldridge was 4-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds in the
first half, Texas point guard Daniel Gibson went to the bench after
two offensive fouls and the Longhorns generally looked out of sync
with nine turnovers.

"It's great for us to face a team like that," Buckman said.
"It really forces us to play great defense."

Texas made up for the offensive miscues with a 28-8 rebounding
edge in the half and a defensive effort that held smaller and
slower Samford to 5-of-23 shooting. Overall, Texas held Samford to
26 percent shooting -- 13-of-50.

"I thought that the first half, we really battled them. (But)
our defensive energy really continued to fall," said Samford coach
Jimmy Tillette.

Texas led 11-5 before Tucker and Aldridge scored eight straight
points. J.D. Lewis hit two 3-pointers as the Longhorns built the
lead to 25-13. Tucker closed the half with consecutive layups, the
second on a steal and fast break with 12 seconds left, to make it
30-13.

The Longhorns offense started clicking in the second. Tucker and
Aldridge teamed up for the comical highlight of the game when a
Samford pass bounced off the back of Tucker's head right to
Aldridge, who lofted the ball back to Tucker to finish a fast break
with a dunk.

A.J. Abrams hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Longhorns built
the lead to 59-26 with 10 minutes left.

A night after hitting 10 3-pointers in their season opener, the
Longhorns went 6-of-20 from long range. The tournament is using an
experimental distance of 20 feet, nine inches, one foot deeper than
normal.

Travis Peterson led Samford with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting on
3-pointers.