LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Rick Barnes has been stressing to his
Texas players to take what the defense gives them. So far this
season that has been 3-pointers, and the Longhorns are hitting
Freshman guard Daniel Gibson scored 19 points and the Longhorns (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) reached double figures in 3-pointers for the
fourth straight game Wednesday in a 95-70 victory over Tennessee in
the third-place game of the Maui Invitational.
"I don't usually question our shot selection except at the end
of games," Barnes said. "Our offense has done a good job of
taking what they give us."
Texas (3-1) bounced back from an 82-80 semifinal loss to Iowa
with an impressive effort up front as well.
"I told the team today would be a character game," Barnes
said. "Would we respond not being able to win the tournament? I
told them this was a big game and if they didn't think so it would
be in March."
It didn't faze Texas that the Maui Invitational, which is
sponsored by EA Sports, used experimental rules that included a
3-point line that was 20 feet, 6 inches from the basket, 9 inches
farther than the NCAA line.
Texas was 10-for-23 on 3s in the opening-round win over
Chaminade and 11-for-21 in the loss to Iowa.
The Longhorns missed 10 of their first 12 shots from beyond the
arc against Tennessee (1-2), but Gibson made the first two of six
straight for Texas. Sydmill Harris hit the third and Kenny Taylor
made the last three as Texas opened a 66-51 lead with 13:39 to
The Longhorns, who finished 10-for-25 from beyond the arc, went
up 80-59 with 8:04 to play on -- what else? -- a 3 by Kenton Paulino.
"Coach says just take what the defense gives you and we did
that even in the first half, we just didn't hit them," Gibson
Taylor stayed on the party line.
"In the second half they wore down a little bit," he said,
"but we didn't do anything different. Coach says just take what
the defense gives you."
Six Texas players finished in double figures. Jason Klotz had 10
points and 11 rebounds in leading the Longhorns' 44-27 advantage on
the boards. Texas, which shot 52 percent overall for the game
(33-for-63), outscored Tennessee 44-22 in the paint.
Taylor was 4-for-8 on 3s, while Harris made all three he took
and Gibson, who had six assists, was 2-for-8.
"I thought Daniel Gibson was terrific. You could see he was
feeling it," Barnes said. "He's learning. I was impressed with
the way he played defensively here. He does a great job of putting
the ball right where it needs to be and we have a group who, when
they get their feet set, are going to make shots for us."
C.J. Watson had 19 points for Tennessee, which lost 94-81 to North Carolina (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) in the semifinals. The Volunteers had closed to
48-44 on a 3 by Chris Lofton with 17:22 to play when Texas began
its 3-point barrage.
"When we got it to a two-possession game and then Gibson hit
two 3s against our zone and they hit some more against the
man-to-man," Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson said. "They've got
four terrific shooters and I thought a lot of their shots were
challenged, some were not. And then their inside guys are strong
Scooter McFadgon scored 13 points for Tennessee, which was
8-for-24 on 3s.
"This is a long season and we can benefit from this," Peterson
said. "We played a physical team in Texas and a fast team in North
Carolina and hopefully we can learn from this and carry it over
into the season."