AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- After building a big lead in the first half, finals may have caught up to the Texas Longhorns.
P.J. Tucker scored 17 points and Jason Klotz added 10 of his 14 points in the first half for No. 12 Texas in an 85-70 victory against Texas-Arlington.
The Longhorns had not played since beating North Texas, 86-57, eight days ago and are headed to Winston-Salem on Saturday for a big matchup against fifth-ranked Wake Forest.
"There was no energy in the building and the guys were coming off finals," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "But, some of our guys played with energy, so we can't use that as an excuse."
"Some of us have things on our minds and are tired from exams," Tucker said. "It can be tough, but we still have to go out and play hard every game."
Texas parlayed its pressure man-to-man defense and an up-tempo attack into a 52-29 halftime lead. The Longhorns shot 56 percent (20-of-36) from the floor in the half behind Klotz and Tucker.
"I think that Texas-Arlington played a great game and showed a lot of effort," Barnes said. "I didn't see the effort I wanted on both ends. We just went through the motions. Arlington never quit. They played hard for 40 minutes."
Starting guards Daniel Gibson and Kenny Taylor combined to shoot 3-of-14.
In the second half, the Mavericks outscored the Longhorns, 23-13, using a 9-0 run to pull within 65-52 with 8:04 left. But Texas pulled away with a 16-7 run behind six points from Tucker to take an 81-59 lead with just over three minutes to play.
"We won, but I want to see us play better basketball," Barnes said. "We were just making mental mistakes and some of the guys were doing things they don't normally do. It was like a snowball effect. We started missing free throws and then we were missing shots around the basket."
Texas limited Texas-Arlington to 38 percent (23-of-60), including 4-of-20 from the arc, and forced 21 turnovers. The Longhorns committed 13 turnovers and held a 41-34 advantage on the boards.
Tucker made 6-of-14 shots and added 10 rebounds and four steals. Klotz, the only Longhorn to score in double figures in every game, made 7-of-11 shots.
"Everybody talks about our age, but every game we want to go out there and quiet them," said Tucker, whose team starts two freshman and a sophomore. "We can't worry about what people say, or things like bad (attendance) turnouts. You can't use that as an excuse."
Freshman LaMarcus Aldridge added a season-high 14 points and Brad Buckman chipped in 13 for Texas, which has won 34 of its last 35 home games.
"(Aldridge) is starting to carry over what we've been working on in practice," Barnes said. "He needs to continue to get low on his post-ups and we need to make sure we get the ball to him quickly. He is doing a great job from the free-throw line as well."
Jarrett Howell, who was held out of the starting lineup because he was late for the team bus, scored a career-high 24 points for Texas Arlington, which has lost all four meetings with Texas. Steven Thomas added 12 points and nine rebounds.
"Texas had a big lead and got lackadaisical," Texas-Arlington coach Eddie McCarter said. "We were all about defense. If our guys weren't going to play hard on defense and stop Texas, then I took them out. We just came to play hard and intense the whole game."