Wednesday , Mar , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Longhorns can clinch share of Big 12 title against Aggies

(Sports Network) – One of the nation’s premier teams will take its game
on the road tonight, as the sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns battle the Texas
A&M Aggies in Big 12 play. With wins in back-to-back games and in seven of its
last eight contests, Texas has improved to 24-4 overall and 12-2 in the
Big 12 and can claim a share of the Big 12 title with a win over the Aggies.
The Longhorns claimed sole possession of first place in the league standings
with an 80-55 thrashing of Kansas on Saturday. The victory puts Texas up
by one game with two to play. All but one of their 12 conference victories
have come by double figures, as they have been completely dominant most of
the time.

As for Texas A&M, it has won five straight games, the longest active
streak among Big 12 teams. The Aggies are fresh off a 66-55 decision over
Nebraska on Saturday, and they carry a 15-2 home record into this clash.
Texas owns a 127-80 advantage in the all-time series with Texas A&M, and the
Longhorns posted an 83-70 victory in the first meeting this season.

Texas dominated its game against Kansas, as it earned a 36-19 rebounding
advantage and a 16-5 edge in points from the foul line. The Longhorns
connected on 55.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a 10-of-20
effort from three-point range. Four players reached double figures in scoring
in the win, and P.J. Tucker led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds, seven
assists and four steals. LaMarcus Aldridge connected on 9-of-10 field goal
attempts and finished with 18 points, while Brad Buckman and A.J. Abrams
contributed 12 points apiece.

Overall this season, Texas is scoring 77.8 ppg, while limiting opponents to
59.6 ppg on 37.6 percent shooting from the floor. Tucker is averaging 16.4
ppg on 53.6 percent shooting from the field, and the versatile performer also
adds 9.2 rpg, 77 assists and 53 steals. Aldridge is contributing 16.0 ppg,
57 blocks and 9.3 rpg, and he has connected on 60.8 percent of his field
goal attempts. Daniel Gibson (13.8 ppg) and Buckman (10.7 ppg) add tremendous
balance to the lineup.

Texas A&M played tremendous defense in the victory over Nebraska last time
out, as it limited the Cornhuskers to 31.4 percent shooting from the floor.
The teams were even in many other categories, but the Aggies were able to
connect on 46.2 percent of their field goal attempts. Acie Law scored 19
points and dished out six assists in the triumph, and Chris Walker added 12
points and eight rebounds. Joseph Jones rounded out the double-digit scorers
with 11 points in 21 minutes of action.

Law has led his team in scoring in three straight outings, and only twice
this season has a player other than Law or Jones earned game-high honors for
the Aggies. Law is averaging 16.5 ppg to go along with 91 assists, and Jones
is contributing 15.8 ppg on 53.7 percent shooting from the field. Texas A&M is
scoring 69.2 ppg while surrendering 61.0 ppg to its opponents.