CBKB: No. 1 Longhorns hold off Aggies 72-67 in overtime
By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas — Damion James scored 26 points, including seven in overtime, and top-ranked Texas survived its first week at No. 1 with a tough 72-67 win over Texas A&M tonight.
James made a 3-pointer with 1 minute left in overtime and blocked a 3-point attempt by Texas A&M's B.J. Holmes that would have tied the game in the final seconds.
J'Covan Brown made two free throws with 3 seconds left to seal the win for the Longhorns (17-0, 3-0 Big 12). Gary Johnson added 18 points for Texas.
Donald Sloan scored 21 points for the Aggies (12-5, 1-2), who didn't trail in the game until James' first basket of overtime.
Texas earned its first No. 1 ranking in school history with a 15-0 start, then found itself in tough games on the road at Iowa State and at home against their big rivals.
The Longhorns had to fight hard to earn another week at the top.
Texas A&M shut down hotshot Texas freshman Avery Bradley (3 points) and senior forward Dexter Pittman (4 points) and led almost the entire game while holding the Longhorns to 35 percent shooting.
Johnson scored nine points in the first half to keep Texas in the game until James could get on track.
James did everything Texas needed him to in the second half and overtime, scoring 23 points. The Big 12's career rebounding leader also grabbed a game-high 12 boards.
Texas A&M was in control early in the second half and had taken the home crowd out of it when Bryan Davis spun around and underneath Pittman for a layup that gave the Aggies a 10-point lead.
But Davis soon picked up his third foul and went to bench just as James was starting to get the Longhorns going. James pulled Texas to 44-37 with a 3-pointer and followed it with a three-point play after a steal.
Brown followed his own miss for a layup and James made two free more free throws. Another jump shot by James and his soaring dunk pulled Texas to 48-46. James scored 12 during a 15-6 Texas run.
Texas A&M missed its chances to put Texas away, missing several open looks from long range, and the Longhorns fought back to get a chance to win it in the final seconds of regulation.
With the game tied at 60, Texas A&M tried to set up for the winning shot but Sloan was stripped of the ball. Bradley sprinted to the basket but his layup skirted around the rim and Texas' Alexis Wangmene and James missed tip-in chances to win at the buzzer.
In overtime, Texas took its first lead on James' basket to start the extra period. Sloan hit a 3-pointer before James banked in another shot.
Texas A&M led 67-66 on David Loubeau's dunk with 1:18 to play before James made his 3-pointer. After a turnover by Loubeau, Dogus Balbay made one of two free throws, his only point of the game, to put Texas up 70-67 with 30 seconds left.