AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jordan Hamilton had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and No. 7 Texas beat No. 11 Missouri 71-58 Saturday night to remain undefeated in the Big 12.
The Longhorns (18-3, 6-0) have won six in a row overall and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Tigers (17-4, 3-3).
Texas had another stellar defensive effort, holding the highest-scoring team in the Big 12 to its lowest point total of the season. Texas limited Missouri to 34 percent shooting.
Gary Johnson added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Tristan Thompson had 13 rebounds for Texas.
Phil Pressey scored 12 points for Missouri.
Missouri boasts that the Tigers play the “fastest 40 minutes of basketball,” but ran smack into a defensive wall in this one. Texas raced to a 10-0 lead behind 3-pointers by Hamilton and Cory Joseph and Thompson’s muscular rebounding.
The Tigers struggled to match Texas’ 50 percent shooting in the first half and the Longhorns’ physical play under the basket. An inadvertent elbow by Thompson to the chin of Missouri’s Laurence Bowers knocked Bowers out of the game with 12:12 left in the half. Bowers, who averages 11.5 points and had just scored two straight baskets, was wobbly when he got to his feet and had to be helped to the Missouri locker room.
Johnson and Hamilton both scored 10 points in the first half for Texas. Missouri stayed within striking distance when Pressey made a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to pull the Tigers to 38-27 at halftime.
Missouri managed to slow down the Longhorns in the second but couldn’t make a run of their own to threaten the Texas lead. Marcus Denmon’s putback pulled the Tigers within eight before Thompson revived the home crowd with a two-handed dunk off a backdoor pass from Hamilton, then blocked a shot by Denmon on the other end.
Michael Dixon made a 3-pointer for Missouri before the Longhorns responded with quick baskets by J’Covan Brown and Joseph that pushed the Texas lead back to 53-42.
Missouri had no one to match Thompson’s bruising rebounding. Time and again, the lanky freshman muscled over one and sometimes two Tigers to grab the ball.
Texas misfires from the free throw line kept Missouri hanging around. The Longhorns missed 11 of their first 14 free throws of the second half and went 16 of 34 for the game.
Texas finally put the game away when Johnson made one of two free throws and Hamilton grabbed the rebound on the miss and went back up for the basket. After a Missouri turnover and two missed shots on the Tigers’ next three possessions, Brown’s layup finished a Texas fast break for a 66-53 lead with just over 2 minutes to play.
Copyright Associated Press