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Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2002 11:50 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(9) Texas 97, Mcneese St 59
MCNEESE ST. COWBOYS
McNeese St. Cowboys
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TEXAS LONGHORNS
Texas Longhorns
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AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Freshman Brad Buckman and Brandon Mouton scored 15 points apiece as No. 9 Texas cruised to a 97-59 victory over McNeese State, snapping a two-game losing streak.

The Longhorns (6-2) were coming off losses to Notre Dame and top-ranked Arizona that completed a four-game road swing. Back at the Erwin Center after a 10-day layoff, Texas again beat up on an opponent from the Southland Conference.

Buckman scored 11 points in the first half, when the Longhorns limited the Cowboys to 32 percent shooting (10-of-31) and raced to a 40-22 lead.

"My high school coach said that he wouldn't shave for two whole weeks if I get a double-double," said Buckman, who pulled down eight rebounds. "Hopefully it will come soon."

"We did what we wanted to do tonight," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Lots of good things came out of our play."

Texas shot a sizzling 65 percent (24-of-37) from the field in the second half as it ran away from McNeese State (4-3).

James Thomas had 12 points and 10 rebounds and T.J. Ford added nine and 11 assists for the Longhorns, who did not play any starter more than 25 minutes. Royal Ivey added 10 points.

"T.J. played a more controlled game, while we had an unselfish group of players," Barnes said. "With the last three games, Royal and T.J. have played very hard, so I was glad they were able to rest a little tonight."

All three of Texas' home wins have come against Southland schools by an average of nearly 32 points. The Longhorns also have beaten Stephen F. Austin and Texas-Arlington.

Eldridge Lewis and Greg Tucker scored 13 points apiece for the Cowboys, who suffered an 80-67 loss here in the first meeting between the clubs exactly one year ago.

Buckman sank consecutive jumpers to trigger a 12-0 spurt that gave Texas a 23-10 lead midway through the first half. Edward Garriet ended the run with a 3-pointer, but the Longhorns rattled off six more points for a 29-13 advantage.

A layup and tip-in by Buckman gave Texas a 38-15 lead with 3:53 to go. The Cowboys got no closer than 16 points thereafter.

Overall, Texas shot 54.5 percent (42-of-77) and held McNeese State to 35 percent (21-of-60). The Longhorns enjoyed a 46-33 advantage in rebounds and a 14-0 edge in fast-break points.


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