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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 17, 2010

Texas defends its No. 1, tops A&M in OT, 72-67


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Texas center Dexter Pittman, right, is fouled by Texas A&M guard B.J. Holmes while going to the basket.

HARRY CABLUCK | Associated Press

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AUSTIN, Texas Texas knew life at the top would be tough, and the Longhorns' first week at No. 1 was every bit as hard as they expected.

Damion James scored 26 points, including seven in overtime, and the top-ranked Longhorns rallied for a rugged 72-67 win over Texas A&M last night.

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 in the final seconds that would have tied the game.

By the time he was finished, James was exhausted but happy to know that Texas would still be sitting at No. 1.

"I'm so tired," James said. "They came out and punched us in the mouth and we didn't retaliate until the second half."

Texas (17-0, 3-0 Big 12) had earned its first No. 1 ranking with a dominating start in which few teams could even stay close to the Longhorns. Then they had to fight through a tough road win at Iowa State before wrestling with their big rival on their home court.

"In the position we're in right now, the other team's emotions are going to be harder no matter where you're playing," Texas coach Rick Barnes. "It was a hard-fought game, but I don't know what anybody else expected."

The Longhorns didn't grab the lead last night until James' first basket of overtime. A 13-point deficit in the first half was the Longhorns' largest of the season.

"We fought back," James said. "Once we put it in overtime, we felt like it was our game."

Donald Sloan scored 21 points and Bryan Davis added 17 for the Aggies (12-5, 1-2) who dropped their second straight in Big 12 play after nearly earning the program's first win over a No. 1 opponent.

"We didn't come here for a moral victory. We came to win," Sloan said.

The Aggies had the game plan to do it. Texas A&M shut down hotshot Texas freshman Avery Bradley and senior forward Dexter Pittman and held the Longhorns to 35 percent shooting.

Johnson kept Texas in it early, scoring nine of his 18 points in the first half.

James scored 23 points in the second half and overtime. The Big 12's career rebounding leader also grabbed a game-high 12 boards.

"He did what seniors do," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "They have so many players, so many weapons."

NO. 2 KENTUCKY 72, AUBURN 67

John Wall hit two free throws with 8.9 seconds left to help the visiting Wildcats (18-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), who blew a 13-point halftime lead, turn back the Tigers (9-9, 0-3). It was coach John Calipari's 52nd consecutive victory in a regular-season conference game at Memphis and Kentucky, breaking Adolph Rupp's NCAA record.

NO. 3 KANSAS 89, TEXAS TECH 63

Marcus Morris had 20 points, Xavier Henry added 14 and the Jayhawks (16-1, 2-0 Big 12) finished the first half with a 13-2 run for a 42-18 lead at intermission to rout the Red Raiders (12-5, 0-3) and extend their nation-best home winning streak to 52 straight.

NO. 5 SYRACUSE 72, NO. 10 WEST VIRGINIA 71

Brandon Triche scored 16 points, Kris Joseph and Wes Johnson added 13 points apiece, and the visiting Orange (17-1, 4-1 Big East) nearly blew a 10-point lead in the final minute before holding off the Mountaineers (13-3, 4-2).

NORTHWESTERN 72, NO. 6 PURDUE 64

Michael Thompson scored 20 points and freshman Drew Crawford had a key 3-pointer and a three-point play in the final 2:04 to help the host Wildcats (13-4, 2-3 Big Ten) hand the Boilermakers (14-3, 2-3) their third straight loss.

NO. 7 MICHIGAN STATE 73, ILLINOIS 63

Kalin scored 20 points and the host Spartans (15-3, 5-0 Big Ten) closed the first half with an 18-5 run taking a 36-29 lead and scored the first seven points after halftime in beating the Fighting Illini (12-6, 4-1)

NO. 9 TENNESSEE 71, NO. 21 MISSISSIPPI 69

Wayne Chism scored 26 points, and hit six consecutive free throws in final 49 seconds of overtime, for a 67-65 lead as the host Volunteers (14-2, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) held off the Rebels (13-4, 1-2).

NO. 20 GEORGIA TECH 73, NO. 12 NORTH CAROLINA 71

Zachery Peacock hit a jumper from the lane with 25.7 seconds left for a 72-71 lead as the Yellow Jackets 13-4, 2-2 ACC) blew a 20-point first-half lead before beating the Tar Heels (12-6, 1-2) for the first time in Chapel Hill since 1996.

NO. 16 PITTSBURGH 82, LOUISVILLE 77

Nasir Robinson scored 26 points and the host Panthers (15-2, 5-0 Big East) used a 6-1 run to force overtime tied at 69-all, then scored the first basket in OT and never trailed again in beating the Cardinals (12-6, 3-2) for their 31st straight win at the Petersen Events Center.

NO. 19 TEMPLE 76, MASSACHUSETTS 64

Ryan Brooks hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points, and the host Owls (15-3, 3-0 Atlantic 10) took a 41-30 halftime lead which never dipped below seven in beating the Minutemen (7-10, 1-3) for their 11th win in the last 12 games.

NO. 24 CLEMSON 73, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 70

Trevor Booker scored 20 points, Tanner Smith added 11 points, including two late free throws, for the visiting Tigers (15-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who never trailed but blew nearly all of a 21-point lead before holding off the Wolf Pack (12-6, 1-3).

OHIO STATE 60, NO. 13 WISCONSIN 51

David Lighty scored 18 points, Evan Turner added 17 despite playing most of the second half with four fouls, and the host Buckeyes (13-5, 3-3 Big Ten) defeated the Badgers (14-2, 4-2) for their second straight upset of a ranked team. Ohio State won at No. 6 Purdue, 70-66, Tuesday night.

NO. 13 KANSAS STATE 87, COLORADO 81

Jacob Pullen scored 18 points and Denis Clemente had 15, helping the visiting Wildcats (15-2, 2-1 Big 12) hand the Buffs (10-7, 1-2) their first loss at the Coors Events Center in 10 games this season.

NO. 17 GONZAGA 68, SAN DIEGO 50

Elias Harris scored 20 points, Steven Gray added 17, and the host Bulldogs (14-3, 3-0 West Coast Conference) used a 13-0 run to take a 33-24 halftime lead in beating the Toreros (8-12, 1-2) for their sixth straight victory.

NO. 18 BYU 91, COLORADO STATE 47

Jimmer Fredette scored 21 points and the host Cougars (18-1, 3-0 Mountain West Conference) ended the first half with a 17-2 run for a 38-22 lead and never looked back in routing the Rams (11-6, 2-1) for their 13th straight victory to match the best start in school history.

NO. 22 BAYLOR 83, OKLAHOMA STATE 70

LaceDarius Dunn had his third consecutive 20-point game, finishing with 25 points, including a 3-pointer for a 55-53 lead with 11 minutes left, and the host Bears (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) never trailed again in beating the Cowboys (13-4, 1-2).

VIRGINIA 75, NO. 23 MIAMI 57

Sylven Landesberg scored 18 points and the host Cavaliers (11-4, 3-0 ACC) took a 33-21 halftime lead and the Hurricanes (15-3, 1-3) got no closer than nine thereafter. Virginia won its seventh straight, while Miami lost its second in a row after entering the Top 25 on Monday.

NO. 25 FLORIDA STATE 63, VIRGINIA TECH 58

Solomon Alabi and Deividas Dulkys scored 13 points apiece, and the host Seminoles (14-4, 2-2 ACC) held off the Hokies (13-3, 1-2), who got consecutive 3-pointers from Dorenzo Hudson, Terrell Bell and Malcolm Delaney to close to 59-58 with four seconds left.

WAC

UTAH STATE 81, BOISE STATE 59

Brian Green scored 14 points to lead four teammates in double figures as the host Aggies (13-6, 3-2) beat the Broncos (9-10, 0-6). Tai Wesley had 13 and seven rebounds, while Jared Quayle, Brady Jardine and Tyler Newbold added 10 each for Utah State, which led 42-25 at halftime. Robert Arnold led Boise State with 12 points.

NEVADA 76, IDAHO 68

Luke Babbitt scored 19 points, Armon Johnson added 17, and the host Wolf Pack (11-7, 3-2) used a 10-2 run for a 55-41 lead with 12 minutes left in turning back the Vandals (8-8, 1-4). Joey Shaw finished with 15 points for the Wolf Pack, while Mac Hopson had 16 points to lead the Vandals.

NEW MEXICO STATE 86, FRESNO STATE 77

Jahmar Young scored 26 points, Jonathan Gibson added 25, and the host Aggies (11-7, 4-1 WAC) went 8 of 16 from 3-point range in the second half to defeat the Bulldogs (10-9, 3-2). Sylvester Seay led the Bulldogs with 22 points, and Mike Ladd added 15.

PACIFIC WEST

HAWAI'I-HILO 87, BYU-HAWAI'I 86

Brian Ngo scored 13 points, including a jumper with one second left, lifting the host Vulcans (10-4, 4-0) over the Seasiders (7-5, 1-2) in a Pacific West Conference game.

Zachary Wilde scored 23 points, and Andrew Gipson and Justin Smith each added 16 for UHH, which trailed 47-41 at halftime. Virgil Buensuceso scored 19 points, Anthony Reilly had 18, and Rory Patterson and Marques Whippy each contributed 10 for BYUH.

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