Archive for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Julien Lewis leads Texas over Texas A&M 61-51

January 11, 2012


— With leading scorer J'Covan Brown still limited by a right ankle injury, a committee of players shouldered the offensive burden for Texas on Wednesday night.

Julien Lewis scored 16 points, Clint Chapman added 11 and Texas had 24 off the bench to beat Texas A&M; 61-51 in what may be the last contest in Austin in the 95-year-old rivalry.

The schools meet in College Station on Feb. 6, but after that, they are not scheduled to play each other as non-conference opponents once A&M; joins the Southeastern Conference later this year.

"We talk about the importance of the little things, whether you take a charge or block or a shot," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I think we had a really hard-fought win."

Chapman, starting just the sixth game of his four-year career, added seven rebounds as the Longhorns (12-4, 2-1 Big 12) improved to 136-85 in a series that dates back to 1917.

"We knew we had to be physical," Chapman said. "We really decided that on one end of the court, they weren't going to get anything, and on the other end, we were going to get as much as we could."

Brown came into the game averaging a conference-best 18.1 points per outing. The junior guard still chipped in 14, making all 10 of his free throws, and dished out six assists.

"He hasn't gotten to practice a lot lately because of his ankle," Barnes said. "He's going to get the other team's best shot. He will adjust to it because he's a smart player."

Khris Middleton scored 19 points as the Aggies (9-6, 0-3) fell into a tie for last place in the Big 12, a long way from their preseason No. 20 ranking.

Texas converted just two field goals in the game's first 10 minutes but still led 10-8 midway through the first half, and Lewis had 10 points to help the Longhorns go into intermission up 26-24.

Turner Elston put Texas A&M; up 35-34 with 11:40 remaining in the game, but Lewis' three-point play less than a minute later sparked a 9-0 run by the Longhorns that moved them ahead for good.

"We got better in a lot of areas, but we've got a long ways to go to get to where we need to be to win games in this conference," Texas A&M; coach Billy Kennedy said.

Texas shot 44 percent from the floor against Texas A&M; - ranked ninth nationally in field-goal defense - and scored 20 points in the paint.

"We got 20 inside against a team that can defend in there," Barnes said. "It was a good win for us."

Texas made 22 of 31 free throws while Texas A&M; went 8 of 16 from the line. The Longhorns turned 17 Aggies turnovers into 19 points.

"Too many turnovers, too many missed free throws," Kennedy said. "We just missed shots that you've got to make."


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