Rice 58

(3-4, 0-4 away)

(2) Texas 85

(8-0, 8-0 home)

    8:00 PM ET, December 5, 2005

    1 2 T
    RICE 26 3258
    #2TEX 46 3985

    Top Performers

    Rice: M. Almond 17 Pts, 6 Reb

    Texas: L. Aldridge 17 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Longhorns feast on Rice for best start since 1981

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Other than a blown dunk, Daniel Gibson had a happy homecoming on Monday night.

    Now, he and second-ranked Texas can focus on the weekend showdown with No. 1 Duke.

    Brad Buckman had 17 points and 11 rebounds and LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 boards as the Longhorns beat Rice 85-58 at the Toyota Center.

    "We did some good things," Texas coach Rick Barnes said, "but I'll always say we still have some work to do."

    Gibson, Houston's all-time prep scorer at Jones High School, had 15 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Longhorns (8-0), who meet the Blue Devils at East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday.

    Gibson got off to a shaky start with his parents and about 30 friends and family members in the stands. He missed his first three shots, including a breakaway, one-handed dunk attempt after a steal.

    He was coming off a career-high 29 points in the Longhorns' 93-55 win over Texas-Arlington on Saturday.

    That performance was long forgotten after his embarrassing goof. One by one, his teammates -- and even Barnes -- gave him some ribbing as the game wore on.

    "Coach Barnes always gives me a hard time," said Gibson, who went 6-for-12 from the field and hit three 3-pointers. "LaMarcus, P.J. (Tucker) -- pretty much everybody down the line got their laughs in."

    Barnes couldn't remember ever seeing the 6-foot-2 Gibson dunk -- and politely told him maybe he should stick to the perimeter.

    "He said it slipped, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt," Barnes said.

    If Gibson was nervous, he quickly settled down, making a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper near the end of an early 14-0 spurt that put Texas in command.

    Gibson left the game to mild applause with 3:18 remaining. He turned from the bench, smiled and nodded at friends as the final minutes ticked away.

    "I felt like I did OK," Gibson said. "I felt like I played a good floor game as far as getting my teammates involved."

    Texas, off to its best start since the 1981-82 team won its first 14 games, has averaged a 32-point victory margin in its last four victories.

    The bigger, faster Longhorns got little more than a light workout from the Owls (3-4), who were coming off a 96-94 triple-overtime win over Utah.

    Texas committed three early turnovers, then scored 14 straight points to build a 23-4 lead 8 minutes into the game.

    The Owls missed their first nine shots and 10 of their first 12, many of them open looks, while the Longhorns hit five of six shots after starting 4-for-10.

    "It was just as bad a start as you could imagine," Rice coach Willis Wilson said. "Those shots go down, our confidence rises and maybe it's a different outcome."

    The 6-10, 237-pound Aldridge had a putback and two free throws early in the run, overpowering Rice's less beefy big men. He quickly got three fouls on J.R. Harrison, and Rice's leading scorer went to the bench with 13:20 left in the half.

    Aleks Perka ended the Owls' 4-minute drought with a layup, but J.D. Lewis swished a 3-pointer 90 seconds later to keep the Longhorns in control.

    Aldridge and Gibson each had 13 points at halftime as Texas took a 46-26 lead.

    The lead swelled past 30 in the second half as the Longhorns continued to overwhelm the Owls with swarming defense, sharp shooting and superior speed.

    "When you play good teams, there are going to be one or two or three factors you're going to have to overcome," Wilson said. "Playing at a hurried pace, you still have to be disciplined and you still have to execute. We just got away from that too quickly."

    Morris Almond had 17 points for Rice, which shot 35 percent (21-of-60) and was outrebounded 50-39.

    Texas has outrebounded six of its first eight opponents by at least 10 boards.

    "Our players tried to work and do the little things," Barnes said. "Rebounding was a big part of it."

    The former Southwest Conference rivals were meeting for the first time since the 1995-96 season. Texas has won nine of the last 10 meetings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 58 85
    FG Made-Attempted 21-60 (.350) 35-74 (.473)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-9 (.333) 6-16 (.375)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-19 (.684) 9-20 (.450)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 31

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 5, 2005 @TEX 85, RICE 58Recap