COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- T.J. Ford provided the offense and Royal Ivey the defense for Texas.
Ford scored 19 points and Ivey helped put the clamps on Bernard King as the third-ranked Longhorns held on for a foul-plagued 95-87 Big 12 Conference victory over Texas A&M.
Ford helped Texas (15-4, 6-2 Big 12) break a two-game road skid and win its ninth straight in College Station. Sydmill Harris added 17 points off the bench.
"Sydmill turned it up a notch for us," Ford said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. This is the way basketball should be."
Ivey, a noted defensive stopper, scored 16 points but his defense on King was a bigger key. King missed his first 11 shots and finished with just 10 points, although it was enough to pass Marcus Fizer as the leading scorer in Big 12 history.
"Most of the time it was Royal (guarding King)," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Those guys hooked up. Royal played 26 minutes, he would have been on Bernard most of those minutes."
Ivey drained two free throws with 11:41 remaining to give Texas the lead for good, 69-67. The lead was still two points after Bradley Jackson split a pair from the line with just under six minutes left to get Texas A&M (11-8, 3-5) within 80-78.
Ford and Harris each made a pair from the line and Ivey scored on a follow shot for an 86-78 lead with 3:54 to go. The margin never got below four thereafter.
The Longhorns shot 80 percent at the free-throw line, draining 32-of-40 attempts. The Aggies also were frequent visitors to the line, shooting 66 percent (21-of-32).
Freshman Antoine Wright matched a season high with 25 points to lead Texas A&M, which has lost consecutive games for the first time this season. Wright slowed considerably after scoring 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half and was 3-of-10 in the second as he was defended by Harris.
"Coach told us they (King and Wright) could not get their averages tonight," Harris said. "Antoine did a great job in the first half and we contained them in the second half. Texas A&M is a rival to the University of Texas so there is going to be some added emotion. I thought it was a great atmosphere tonight."
Wright, considered to be the best freshman in the Big 12, found the physical play difficult.
"It came down to being tough," Wright said. "We were right there, but when it came down to it, they were a little bit tougher than us. They were more physical in the second half. They did a little grabbing and pushing and it was hard to get open."
Brandon Mouton netted 12 points and grabbed six rebounds while James Thomas was the fifth Longhorn in double figures with 10 points and five boards. Ivey and reserve forward Brian Boddicker each grabbed six rebounds as Texas held a commanding 49-36 edge on the glass.
Ford also had nine assists and six rebounds and was the catalyst to a tremendous passing display as Texas compiled 23 assists on 29 baskets. Ivey had four and Mouton and Terrell Ross each handed out three.
"It may have been our highest assist total as a team with 23 assists," Barnes said. "Coming down the stretch, we played with a lot of poise."
King did not have a basket until converting a runner with 3:14 remaining. His foul shot with 11:48 left gave him 1,831 points, one more than Fizer, who starred at Iowa State and is now a member of the Chicago Bulls. But his miserable night was embodied by a missed slam in which he tried a reverse dunk when he was out in the clear.
Wright made five 3-pointers and Leandro Garcia-Morales drained four and scored 15 points. A&M continued to its downfall by struggling at the line in the second half, making only 6-of-15 attempts.
"I think that the lack of free throws and offensive rebounds hurt us tonight," Aggies coach Melvin Watkins said. "They are just a little bit better than we are right now."
The Aggies used Wright's hot shooting to build a 49-44 halftime lead and a basket by Jackson opened the second half for their biggest lead. Texas rallied and scored nine straight points for a 57-53 lead on Mouton's basket with 15:39 remaining.
The Longhorns played in front of former All-American Chris Mihm, currently a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.