3:00 PM ET, January 21, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Defense, defense, defense. That's all Texas (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) heard about Texas A&M (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP).Tired of hearing how good the Aggies and their smothering defense could be, Tiffany Jackson and the Longhorns figured it was time to play some of their own.Jackson scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Longhorns forced 23 turnovers to roll over the Aggies 64-45 Sunday."This week in practice everybody was fired up," said Jackson, who also had three steals. "We knew it was a big game for us and we needed this win."The Longhorns scored 26 points off the A&M turnovers and held the Aggies to 31 percent shooting. Brittainey Raven added 14 points for Texas (14-5, 3-2).Takia Starks scored 14 to lead Texas A&M (13-4, 3-2). The Aggies had held opponents to an average of 49.1 points this season, but couldn't stop Jackson from posting her seventh double-double this season. Jackson was 9-of-12 from the floor."We take a lot of pride in how we play defense, but I was more impressed with Texas' defense than anything tonight," A&M coach Gary Blair said. "Our post players were scared and not finishing shots. Today, my team lacked toughness and it was all about Texas."The Longhorns forced the Aggies into 15 turnovers in the first half, turning them into 15 points, and led 28-18 at halftime. It was the fewest points scored in a half by the Aggies this season.A 13-5 run by Texas to open the second pushed the lead to 41-23. The Aggies, who waited to use the full-court defense that worked so well this season, tried to disrupt the Longhorns with pressure, but Texas kept extending its lead.The Aggies forced Texas into 23 turnovers, but their own miscues kept them from making a run.Two steals and layups by Raven, and consecutive baskets by Jackson helped the Longhorns counter any momentum the Aggies could muster. Defensively, the Longhorns kept forcing A&M turnovers and Jackson's tough turnaround jumper in the lane made it 49-31.Texas dominated scoring in the paint 32-18 and outrebounded the Aggies 41-30. Texas was 14-for-19 in the second half (74 percent)"I don't think I've seen Tiffany Jackson play a better all-around game," Texas coach Jody Conradt said. "Our team wanted to prove they could hang, they could play hard, be physical and tough mentally."Raven scored 12 in the second half. Patrice Reado, who scored 10 points in the second half for A&M, fouled out with more than 8 minutes left to remove the Aggies' best scoring threat down the stretch.Texas plays No. 13 Baylor, Texas Tech and No. 7 Oklahoma in a little more than a week -- a key stretch if the Longhorns expect to challenge for the Big 12 title."Every game is getting you closer or farther away," Conradt said, "We have to really strap it on right here and make a move."