UTSA (4-4) at Texas (8-2)

Cloudy Currently: Austin, TX
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 29, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s been nearly three years since Texas lost a home game to an unranked team. That streak isn’t likely to end Wednesday.

Coming off its most dominant performance of the season, No. 15 Texas looks to make it 30 straight home wins over non-Top 25 teams when Texas-San Antonio visits the Erwin Center.

The Longhorns (8-2) are 81-13 at the Erwin Center under coach Rick Barnes, winning 35 of their last 36 games there.

Texas has won 29 consecutive games in its home arena against unranked teams since an 80-74 loss to Texas A&M on Jan. 23, 2002. Dating back to the start of the 1999-2000 season, the Longhorns are 60-2 against non-Top 25 teams at home.

That home success continued Wednesday as Kenny Taylor led five Longhorns in double figures with 23 points in a 97-52 rout of Centenary.

Freshman center LaMarcus Aldridge added a season-high 19 points and four blocks for Texas, which is 5-0 at home this season with an average margin of victory of 31.4 points.

The Longhorns, who tied a school record Wednesday by allowing just 12 first-half points, turned 25 turnovers into 35 points and limited the Gents to 35.2 percent (19-of-54) from the field.

The easy victory came four days after Texas struggled defensively in an 89-88 loss to then-No. 6 Wake Forest.

“I think we improved on our defensive intensity,” Taylor said. “We wanted to shut them down as much as possible.”

Despite the loss to Wake Forest, the Longhorns have been a good defensive team this season.

They’re allowing only 65.7 points per game while limiting opponents to 37.7 percent shooting, including 29.4 percent from 3-point range. Texas, meanwhile, averages 86.6 points and is connecting on 49.6 percent of its shots.

Another matchup with a Southland Conference team seems a sure way for Texas to build momentum with the Big 12 portion of its schedule starting Jan. 9 against Baylor.

The Longhorns, 2-0 against the Southland this season with wins over Texas State and Texas-Arlington, are 68-7 all-time against the league.

Included in that record is a 4-0 mark against Texas-San Antonio, which is 6-33 against Big 12 schools. The Longhorns beat the Roadrunners 70-51 in Austin on Nov. 28, 2000 in the most recent meeting.

One area in which Texas-San Antonio (4-4) figures to have trouble Wednesday is dealing with the Longhorns’ depth.

Texas features five players with double-digit scoring averages, led by Taylor and P.J. Tucker at 12.3 points per game. Brad Buckman (12.0), Jason Klotz and Daniel Gibson (11.2) are also averaging in double figures.

This will be the last of three straight road games for UTSA, which has lost four of five since opening the season with three wins.

The Roadrunners nearly handed Wichita State its first loss of the season, but failed to extend a seven-point halftime lead en route to an 84-79 loss Tuesday.

Senior Justin Harbert scored 20 points, while center Anthony Fuqua added a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for UTSA.

“To play this well on the road against a team like Wichita State certainly gives us hope for the future,” Roadrunners coach Tim Carter said. “We challenged Anthony (Fuqua) to be more offensive-minded in this game and he certainly responded and was able to keep us in this game.”

Harbert, academically ineligible the first six games, is averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in two games this season.

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