AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Texas A&M hung around against intrastate rival Texas until Kenny Taylor took over in the second half.
Taylor scored 14 of his 18 points during a huge second-half run as the 12th-ranked Longhorns pulled away from the lowly Aggies, 77-57, in a Big 12 Conference contest.
Brandon Mouton scored 20 points and P.J. Tucker added 14 for the Longhorns (18-4, 9-2 Big 12), who posted their sixth win in seven games.
"This league has good coaches and every game is going to be tough," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We're going to have to go out and play. The guys must embrace this time of year because this is what they play for."
Texas held just a 39-36 lead five minutes into the second half before embarking on a 27-6 burst over the next seven minutes. Taylor had four 3-pointers during the burst, which he ended with a pair of free throws to make it 66-42 with 8:02 remaining.
"We went on a run when our team picked up the intensity on the defensive end," said Tucker, who grabbed nine rebounds. "Being strong on the defensive is our identity and that is what we have to continue to do to keep winning games at this point in the season."
Jesse King and Antoine Wright had 12 points apiece to pace the Aggies (7-15, 0-11), who have lost their last 11 contests and remained the only winless team in the Big 12.
Mouton made 8-of-13 shots and the 6-5 Tucker 7-of-9 for the Longhorns, who connected on 54 percent (28-of-52) as they beat the Aggies for the 21st time in 22 meetings. Texas A&M shot just 37 percent (18-of-49).
"(Tucker is) an undersized post player and I think he was 5-of-5 in the first half, then 7-of-9 for the game, so he had his way with us," embattled Aggies coach Melvin Watkins said. "I was disappointed that our guys didn't take the challenge."
Texas shot 52 percent and held Texas A&M to just 29 percent in the first half, yet held only a 29-24 lead at the break.
"We had a decent first half, but this is a 40-minute game and we got soft (in the second half)," Watkins said.