‘Cats hooked by Aldridge

first_img “Coach said they’re relentless on the 3-point line,” Gibson said. “And we would have to get out and contest their shots.” In the locker room, Barnes also challenged Aldridge to be a force on offense after spending the first half looking for a turnaround jumper that never materialized. “He said, ‘Are you going to shoot turnaround jumpers all night, or get in the lane and make some layups for us?”‘ Aldridge said. “I had to get deeper in the paint.” The second half was more smothering defense and missed 3-pointers. Villanova kept working the ball around the perimeter looking for open shots only to miss the first seven attempts from long range in the half. “I didn’t feel any frustration,” Foye said. “Just because I miss a couple of shots doesn’t mean I’m going to quit shooting.” Aldridge started his late flourish with a dunk on an inbounds pass from Tucker. After Lowry’s three-point play tied it at 50, Aldridge put back a blocked shot to regain Texas’ lead. “He was great,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said of Aldridge. “There were a lot of times where we got to the rim and he made us change our shots.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “Our defense was outstanding again,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “That has been the difference in our team.” So was Aldridge, who scored eight points in the final 4 minutes, including two free throws with 8.3 seconds left that gave Texas a three-point lead. He also tied his career-high with five blocks. Daniel Gibson hit two more free throws with 3.9 seconds left before Villanova’s Randy Foye bounced a running 3-pointer off the backboard. Kenton Paulino added 13 points for Texas (14-2). Foye, Kyle Lowry and Allan Ray each scored 13 points for Villanova (11-2), which came in shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc. Villanova’s defense held P.J. Tucker, Texas’ leading scorer this season, to two points in the first half and the Wildcats led 26-24 at halftime as both teams shot under 35 percent. Texas has won six straight since consecutive blowout losses to No. 1 Duke and Tennessee, including two victories over Top 10 opponents. The Longhorns have done it with stifling defense that held all six opponents in the streak under 40 percent shooting. On Saturday, Villanova shot 27 percent, including a miserable 7-of-30 performance from 3-point range where the Wildcats have been so dangerous. center_img AUSTIN, Texas – Forget that mid-December slump. Eighth-ranked Texas is looking more like the team that began the season ranked No. 2 and talking about the Final Four. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and the Longhorns smothered No. 3 Villanova with its best defensive game of the year to pull out a 58-55 victory Saturday. last_img read more