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Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2004 2:02 AM EST
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(13) Texas 86, North Texas 57

AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Brad Buckman came to Austin as a highly touted freshman two years ago. He's starting to show why.

Buckman tied a career high with 18 points and blocked a career-high seven shots as No. 13 Texas scored a decisive 86-57 victory over North Texas State.

The 6-8 forward, who shot 7-of-11 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds, scored 18 points during a November 23 loss to Iowa.

"We spent two days working with the posts to get them more physical," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We worked with the guards on feeding the post. Brad has practiced hard of late and we want to know what he will do once he has the ball.

Tonight, Brad used one dribble from the perimeter and tried to dunk the ball. That is the type of move we want to see from him. He has long arms, so that is helping his defense. He is a great athlete and we know he will soon be comfortable outside the paint as well as inside."

A junior, Buckman is averaging 12.3 points and seven rebounds per game this season after averaging just 5.7 points on 38 percent shooting last season.

"I have been working hard in practice and now I am finally taking it into the game," Buckman said. "I am figuring out my moves. Jason (Klotz) has his moves and now I am using mine. I have long arms, so they are useful for blocking shots.

Losing weight has also allowed me to be able to move around the court quicker. It helps that I know that coach has confidence in me. He called plays for me tonight, which helps my confidence."

Kenny Taylor and Klotz scored 14 points apiece and Marcus Aldridge added 12 and seven rebounds for the Longhorns, who also overwhelmed the Mean Green with their defense. Texas forced 23 turnovers on 15 steals, blocked eight shots and held North Texas to 31 percent (22-of-71) shooting.

Leonard Hopkins scored all 13 of his points in the first half but shot 5-of-16 for North Texas (3-3), which trails in the all-time series, 28-5.

"Texas played great defense," Hopkins said. "This was definitely a learning experience for us. We played sloppy from the beginning and they took advantage of every turnover we made."

Texas (6-1) improved to 58-2 at home since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Taylor, who made 3-of-5 from the arc, started a game-opening run with a 3-pointer and Kenton Paulino's shot from the arc gave the Longhorns a 17-2 lead with 12:22 left. A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Daniel Gibson gave the Longhorns their biggest lead of the half, 46-24.

"Texas is very deserving of their high ranking," North Texas coach Johnny Jones said. "They have talent both in their starters and in their bench. These guys are the best shooting team I've seen play this season.

Their inside players are great and their perimeter can stretch you out defensively. With Texas, you have to pick your poison and decide which way you are going to let them score, because they are going to."

© 2005 STATS, Inc