Texas downs N.C. State to advance to Sweet 16
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – P.J. Tucker and Daniel Gibson each scored 17
points as Texas easily bested North Carolina State, 75-54, in the second round
of the NCAA Tournament at American Airlines Center.
A.J. Abrams came off the bench to add 16 points for the second-seeded
Longhorns (29-6), who now move on to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four
Texas will face West Virginia on Thursday in the Atlanta Bracket.
Cameron Bennerman paced 10th-seeded North Carolina State (22-10), which was
coming off a hard-fought 58-52 triumph over California on Friday, with 16
points. Gavin Grant netted 14 points and Cedric Simmons tallied 12 in the
“I think maybe we took some tough shots,” said Bennerman. “I don’t know. We
got some open shots late in the second half, some shots we are used to taking.
They just didn’t fall for us.”
After an up and down first half, Texas pulled away with a dominating final
frame. Clinging to a five-point lead, the Longhorns used a 16-3 burst to
shake the Wolfpack.
Abrams highlighted the burst with a pair of threes and LaMarcus Aldridge
capped it by making 1-of-2 from the line to give Texas a commanding 58-40
advantage with 7:52 left.
The Longhorns then continued to pull away. About 3 1/2 minutes later, Tucker
connected on a jumper to give Texas its first 20-point edge, 68-48.
Another Tucker bucket, this time a layup, had the Longhorns their largest
lead of the game, 72-50, with under two minutes remaining.
“Texas played an outstanding basketball game and we give them a great deal of
credit,” said North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek. “As for us the single
most significant factor was we just had a hard time making some shots.”
Texas dominated early and raced out to a 14-point lead midway through the
first half. Tucker got loose inside for an emphatic slam to give the Longhorns
a 27-13 advantage with a little over eight minutes left in the opening frame.
The Wolfpack responded and bounced back, however. Tony Bethel’s three with a
little over a minute remaining before intermission brought North Carolina
State to within three, 36-33.
The Longhorns finished the half with a 38-33 edge.
Tucker also pulled down 11 rebounds for Texas…Texas is looking for a rare
Triple Crown in the realm of college sports. The Longhorns are already the
reigning National Champs in baseball and football…NC State is now 32-21 all-
time in the NCAA tourney while Texas is 27-26… Texas leads the all-time
series between the two clubs, 2-1…The Wolfpack was just 3-of-22 from long
range in the game. Texas was 8-of-19.