Brown leads Longhorns to 70-68 win over Texas A&M

By Kristie Rieken

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 6 2012 10:32 p.m. MST

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy, center, watches in the final seconds of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, in College Station, Texas. Texas won 70-68.

Pat Sullivan, Associated Press

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas has had trouble winning close games and getting victories on the road this season.

On Monday night they did both in a 70-68 win over Texas A&M.

J'Covan Brown hit the go-ahead layup with less than a minute remaining and added a pair of free throws after that to lift Texas to the win.

It's the Longhorns' fifth straight over A&M in the last regular-season Big 12 meeting between these schools, with the Aggies leaving for the Southeastern Conference.

Brown's free throws with 17 seconds remaining made it 70-67. Elston Turner was fouled before he could get a shot off on the other end. He made one free throw and missed the second one, and Julien Lewis grabbed the rebound to cap the Texas win.

Brown led the Longhorns (15-9, 5-6) with 20 points and Sheldon McClellan added 15.

Seven of the Longhorns' nine losses this season have come by six or fewer points, and they hadn't won on the road since Dec. 3 at UCLA.

"We've had situations where we've needed to get a basket, and we've had games where we've had a lead and couldn't get a stop," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Tonight we had the lead and we got the stop."

Barnes wouldn't acknowledge that the win had any extra meaning because it was the last scheduled game against A&M, but the players weren't as diplomatic.

"I've been watching Texas and Texas A&M for a long time," McClellan said. "It felt great to be part of the last victory for Texas at A&M. It brings us together because we haven't won a road game since UCLA."

Turner had 20 points for Texas A&M (12-11, 3-8), which has dropped three straight. He said this one hurt more because it could be the last chance to beat the Longhorns at home.

"We wanted to win not just for us but for the whole university, former players, students, graduates," he said. "It was a big game not just for the basketball programs, but for the whole schools."

The Aggies, who were playing without two starters, were trailing by five points with 3½ minutes remaining before a 3-pointer by Turner made it 64-62. Ray Turner's three-point play after a basket by McClellan got Texas A&M within one point.

Elston Turner made a pair of free throws to put A&M up 67-66 with just more than a minute left. Brown's shot gave Texas the lead, and a steal by Myck Kabongo gave the Longhorns the ball back and led to Brown's free throws.

Barnes said Brown's go-ahead shot came on a play they never ran or practiced, but simply put together during the timeout right before executing it.

"We just drew it up," Barnes said. "We wanted to get the ball to J'Covan. He came through the screen as opposed to going around it. He made a great play."

Texas used a 9-0 run to break a tie and take a 55-46 lead with about 11 minutes left. Jonathan Holmes scored the first six points in that span before Brown capped it with a 3.

The Aggies used a 9-3 spurt to cut the lead to 58-55 with 6½ minutes remaining.

Elston Turner was shaken up during a collision with a Longhorn while fighting for a rebound with about five minutes left. He remained on the court for a couple of minutes writhing in pain before being helped to the bench. He was OK though, and returned less than a minute later.

The Aggies were without second-leading scorer Khris Middleton (right knee) for the fifth straight game and point guard Dash Harris (right foot) for the fourth. They got 14 points from David Loubeau and Ray Turner had 13.

"We've got to get so much out of everybody to win and we just keep coming up short," Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.

Monday was the 222nd meeting between these schools, which have met at least twice every year since 1917. Former Texas A&M football star Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, who was recently named The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, took in the game from a courtside seat. But the crowd of 9,792 was the smallest for a game at A&M against Texas since 2002.

The Aggies led by two points with about 11½ minutes left in the first half before Texas used a 9-0 run over the next 2½ minutes, powered by 3-pointers from Brown and Kabongo, to take a 24-15 lead.

Texas A&M responded with a 7-0 spurt to get within 24-22 about a minute later.

The Aggies led 34-33 at halftime after a jump shot by Naji Hibbert just before the break.

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