AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Being ranked in the Top 25 is fun. Routing
a chief rival on their home court is a blast.
Morenike Atunrase scored 15 points and Texas A&M (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) used a
28-0 run over 10 minutes in the first half to blow past rival Texas
73-53 Wednesday night, snapping the Longhorns' 31-game, Big 12 home
A'Quonesia Franklin added 14 points for Texas A&M (18-5, 7-3),
which won for just the third time in Austin in series history and
the first time since 1995.
"I'm just going to have a good time," Aggie coach Gary Blair
said. "My kids played great ... I'm happy for Aggies everywhere."
A&M came in ranked for the first time since winning the old
Southwest Conference tournament in March 1996.
"It feels good," Franklin said. "A&M hasn't really beaten
people at their home."
The Longhorns (12-9, 6-5) played without leading scorer Tiffany
Jackson, who missed the game with a sprained right ankle. It was
the first game the junior center, a third-team All-American last
season, missed in her career.
Erika Arriaran and Nina Norman each scored 14 for Texas.
Texas led 15-14 with 12 minutes left in the first when the
Aggies started their game-changing run behind two layups from
Franklin and Erica Roy. Franklin scored again when she stole a pass
and streaked to the other end for another easy basket.
"We just wanted to go all out and keep up the defensive
pressure," Franklin said.
The Longhorns looked lost without Jackson, their floor leader
who averages 14.4 points.
Without her presence under the basket, the Aggies concentrated
on shutting down the Longhorns' shooters with aggressive perimeter
defense. During the scoreless stretch, Texas missed 11 straight
shots and committed seven turnovers, several of which led to easy
Texas A&M outscored Texas 24-4 in the paint 16-0 off turnovers
in building a 47-20 halftime lead.
"In the first half we pretty much collapsed," said Texas coach
Jody Conradt. "The first half was pretty much terrible."
The Longhorns managed to get the lead under 20 with 10 minutes
left in the second when Erneisha Bailey hit a layup that cut it to
59-40. The Aggies quickly snuffed any hopes of a rally when
Franklin and Atunrase hit consecutive 3-pointers from the corners.
The loss was the first of three games for Texas against ranked
teams. Fourth-ranked Connecticut comes to Austin on Sunday and the
Longhorns don't know when Jackson will return.
"We have to move forward," Conradt said. "I don't know when
Tiffany's going to be ready. We can't sit around and wait."