AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—Texas A&M players glared, scowled and tried to push Texas around. Nothing worked.
The team the Aggies routed on their home court last month was nowhere to be found. This time, D.J. Augustin and the Longhorns pushed back.
The result was a Texas blowout, 77-50 Monday night that kept the streaking No. 7 Longhorns rolling and tied for first in the Big 12. Texas’ last loss was a humbling 17-point defeat in College Station on Jan. 30 when the Aggies (20-6, 6-5 Big 12) bullied their way through the Longhorns.
Texas (22-4, 9-2) hasn’t lost since, knocking off six straight wins with Monday night’s ranking among the most impressive.
“If we would have won by one, it would have been revenge,” Texas’ Damion James said. “But (27) sounds good.”
Augustin was at his absolute best with 27 points and nine assists. He nearly outscored the Aggies by himself in the first half with 17 points as Texas took a 39-18 lead into halftime.
“He did everything for that team tonight, give him credit. He came out and played at a level no else played at,” A&M’s Josh Carter said. “It was embarrassing tonight. It was like a different team.”
Texas opened the game with a 16-4 run behind Augustin and James and a front line that sent an early message that the Longhorns planned to match the Aggies’ muscle for 40 minutes.
A&M looked surprised by the Longhorns’ physical play under the basket— Texas blocked 12 shots—and a stifling defense that held the Aggies to 19 percent shooting in the first half and their lowest scoring output of the season.
James finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for Texas. Carter scored 11 points to lead A&M, which trailed by 20 points almost the entire second half.
From the start, the teams traded bruising screens, blocked shots, dunks and menacing stares between the big men in a physical contest typical of this heated rivalry.
Texas charged up the sellout crowd with its opening burst behind four 3-pointers and a pair of blocked shots. James, who was harshly criticized by Barnes after a poor effort in the first meeting, grabbed Texas’ first two rebounds and hit the Longhorns’ first 3-pointer of the game.
James and Augustin seemed to be everywhere in the first half.
In one sequence, Connor Atchley started a fast break with a steal and fed a quick outlet to Augustin before James finished it with two-handed dunk. A minute later, James blocked a shot from behind, then flew in to snag the rebound off the backboard to start another break.
Augustin made two 3-pointers, then fed a tricky pass in the lane for an easy layup. When he pulled up for a soft jumper in the lane over Bryan Davis Texas led 37-14.
“I just went out and was aggressive and it was falling tonight. I felt good shooting tonight,” Augustin said.
Texas closed the half when Augustin split two defenders with a reverse dribble and tossed up a pass to James. Instead of a dunk that an Aggie defender leaped to block, James used the backboard for an easy layup and a 21-point halftime lead.
“We had no chance of guarding (Augustin) tonight. They wanted to pay us back and they did,” A&M coach Mark Turgeon said.
Misfiring from the outside, the Aggies tried to use their muscle inside to start the second half. Three quick fouls and two more blocked shots, including one when Atchley stopped 7-footer DeAndre Jordan, left Turgeon rubbing his temples during the first timeout of the half.
If Texas was giving him a headache, it only got worse. Augustin hit another off-balance jumper and Justin Mason was left wide open for a 3-pointer that put Texas up 51-27.
Things were going so badly for A&M that when Jordan snagged a rebound deep in the lane and tried to tomahawk a dunk, he caught the front of the rim and ball went flying back up in the air. When Jordan finally got his dunk five minutes later, it came after Atchley fell down in the lane.
Texas hit nine 3-pointers while the Aggies were 1-of-14 from long range and went blow-for-blow with the Aggies inside as each team scored 28 points in the paint.
Texas completely shut down Aggies forward Joseph Jones who had put up some big numbers against the Longhorns in the past. Jones finished eight rebounds but had just three points and played only 21 minutes.
“We whipped them and they whipped us,” Turgeon said. “It’s even.”