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Updated: Monday, January 3, 2005 12:32 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(12) Texas 89, UNLV 82

AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- P.J. Tucker continued his hot shooting as Texas rolled to yet another win at home.

Tucker scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 12 Texas captured its 12th straight home win with an 89-82 victory over UNLV.

Tucker, who scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half of a 100-82 win over Texas-San Antonio on Wednesday, has averaged 20.4 points on 59 percent (35-of-59) shooting in his last five games. He has scored 33 points in the second half of the last two games alone.

"I usually ask for the ball when we're under pressure," Tucker said. "I don't always do it so I can score, but also to get the posts open and put pressure on the basket. We knew UNLV would be tough tonight. They're good shooters and we had to work hard on defense."

The 6-5 sophomore went 8-of-13 in this one, including 11 points in the first half as the Longhorns (10-2) took a 40-34 halftime lead. He had two baskets in the final minute, including a layup with three seconds remaining.

"He's really tough and a big-time battler," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "He's going to be strong on every possession and I think the most impressive thing about him is that he does exactly what he can do to make the team better. That's what makes him such a great player."

In the second half, the Runnin' Rebels went on a 10-4 run behind a pair of 3-pointers and a layup by Michael Umeh for a 67-65 lead with 6:10 remaining. Texas responded with seven straight points, including a dunk by Tucker, for a 72-67 advantage less than two minutes later. Two free throws by Kenton Paulino pushed the lead to 80-70 with 70 seconds remaining.

Brad Buckman and Jason Klotz scored 14 points apiece and freshman point guard Daniel Gibson added 12 for Texas, which scored 22 points off 15 turnovers by UNLV.

"I thought we showed some character," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Both teams played very hard. This was a good game against UNLV. They competed, were aggressive and made some great shots. We just wore them down on the inside."

Jerel Blassingame and Romel Beck had 17 points apiece and Umeh chipped in 11 for the Runnin' Rebels (6-5), who were unable to deal with the Longhorns power game down low, getting outscored 40-16 in the paint.

"I liked the way our guys battled," Kruger said. "We had a lot of opportunities, but it's difficult to go on the road in a place like Austin and win. I think we're making progress and most importantly the guys' focus is good. We still have a lot of work to do, but I am really proud of their effort."

Odartey Blankson totaled 10 points and 10 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season, and Andy Hannan added seven points and five assists for UNLV, which had a three-game win streak snapped, losing to a ranked opponent for the second time in 15 days. The Runnin' Rebels absorbed a 79-67 loss at then-No. 4 Oklahoma State on December 18.


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