COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- P.J. Tucker's big second half helped
Texas (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) overcome off-games from its other top scorers.
Tucker scored 18 of his 20 points after the break and added 11
rebounds in a 66-53 victory over Missouri on Wednesday night. Many
of the points came after the 6-5 Tucker moved from the perimeter to
"In the second half Tucker took over the game," Missouri coach
Quin Snyder said. "They went small with him and he was awfully
tough for us to handle on the block."
Kenton Paulino added 14 points for the Longhorns (18-3, 6-1 Big
12), who shrugged off a 10-point loss at Oklahoma (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) on Saturday and
have won 10 of 11. The Longhorns led by eight at halftime despite
"We weren't playing like we usually play," Tucker said. "So
we needed a spark. I tried to take it into my hands to try to get
the guys going, try to make it happen."
Texas led by as many as 21 points in the second half, even
though leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson and Brad
Buckman never got rolling. Aldridge played 16 minutes due to foul
problems and had five points and three rebounds, Gibson had eight
points and Buckman four while missing all six shots.
All three are averaging in double figures, and Aldridge was at
16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds.
"People didn't get to see how good he is," Barnes said. "He's
going to have to learn when we gets a couple of fouls how to
Missouri made it somewhat respectable at the finish with 11
straight points. Texas scored only three points in the final 4:12.
Snyder had no problem with the effort. He said the talent gap is
what beat Missouri.
"If we play them 10 times, I don't know exactly what number it
is, but they win a lot of them," he said.
Missouri (10-9, 3-5) has lost four in a row, all by double
digits and two of them at home. Jimmy McKinney had 13 points and 10
rebounds, Kevin Young had 13 points and Thomas Gardner added 15 on
"I really think we're playing good defense and we're playing
good basketball," McKinney said. "But we just ain't having the
vibe we had against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State."
Gardner, the Big 12's leading scorer with a 21-point average,
missed 10 of his first 11 shots and finished 5-for-16. He has
struggled against the two highest-ranked teams Missouri has faced,
getting only six against Illinois in December.
Gibson began the game on Gardner and before it was over several
other players took turns.
"In a big game you always want to perform well, and I think I
was just a little over-anxious in the first half," Gardner said.
"I think that was evident in my shots going long or short, kind of
wanting to get that first shot so bad to go in."
Tucker was 1-for-4 from the field in the first half and 9-for-11
the rest of the way. The double-double was his first in seven games
since the Big 12 opener.
Texas ran its winning streak to eight in a row over Missouri,
seven of them against Snyder. The Longhorns are the only Big 12
team that Snyder hasn't beaten.
Missouri was held to 38-percent shooting and fell to 3-1 against
ranked teams at the year-old Mizzou Arena. Texas has held 10 of its
last 11 opponents below 40 percent, four of them below 30 percent.
Texas missed 10 of its first 13 shots and had only nine points
after the first 11 minutes, but trailed by only four. A pair of
3-pointers by Paulino in a span of 35 seconds late in the half
helped give the Longhorns, who led 28-20 at halftime, some
Gardner missed his first eight shots before hitting a 3-pointer
with 1:04 to go in the first half.