Smith's 28 lead Texas A&M past Texas, 91-70Jan 10, 2010 - 2:18 AM By JIM VERTUNO AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas(AP) -- Go back 35 years in the record book and the numbers say Texas has dominated Texas A&M.
But wait. Check out the last five years and it's clear the Aggies have turned the rivalry on its head - in a big, big way.
Tanisha Smith scored 28 points and No. 10 Texas A&M thumped No. 15 Texas 91-70 on Saturday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
The Longhorns still own a 58-18 lead in the series, but the Aggies have won six in a row over their big rivals and eight of the last nine. And in their latest win, the talent gap appeared wider than ever in the Aggies' favor.
Texas A&M (13-1) had five players score in double figures, opened up a 44-19 halftime lead and stretched it as high as 30 points midway through the second half.
"We've still got a lot of work to do," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said when asked about the turn in the rivalry. "We were dead at the bottom when we started."
Not any more. Not even close.
Considering how close the teams are in the rankings, the Longhorns (11-4) seemed stunned by Texas A&M's speed and athleticism at nearly every position. Texas simply couldn't keep up.
Texas A&M guards Smith, Sydney Colson and Tyra White routinely slashed to the basket, leaving defenders twisting to catch up or standing flat footed in the lane. When they weren't driving for baskets, they were kicking the ball out for 3-pointers.
"I think (Smith) is the best unknown player in the country right now," Blair said.
Adaora Elonu scored Texas A&M's first eight points. The Aggies shot 54 percent for the game and the Longhorns seemed to be stuck just watching as Texas A&M ran out to that 25-point hafltime lead.
"We allowed them to set the tempo and that put us in a panic mode," Texas senior guard Erika Arriaran said. "That team is very aggressive."
Nothing Texas did could slow it down.
While the Aggies were shooting 58 percent in the first half, Texas committed 15 turnovers - 10 in the first 10 minutes - that Texas A&M turned into 18 points.
"It started with our defense," Smith said. "That's the game we like to play."
Texas tried to disrupt the Aggies by going to a full-court press, but even that just created more chances for the Aggies to blow past defenders on the dribble and the lead continued to grow.
Defensively Texas A&M shut down Kathleen Nash, Texas' best perimeter shooter and one of the best 3-point shooters in the country. Nash scored just six points on 1-of-7 shooting and missed all four 3-pointers.
At the start of the second, Colson dribbled into the lane while three Texas defenders stood and watched her go by. When Danielle Adams converted a three-point play with 13:21 to play, Texas A&M led 61-31.
A 15-1 Texas run cut the deficit to 19 when Nash finished a fast break with a layup.
That was about all Texas could muster. A 3-pointer by Adams put the Aggies up 78-56, shutting down any realistic chance of a Longhorns rally.
The loss dropped third-year Texas coach Gail Goestenkors to 0-5 against Texas A&M, a frustrating mark for a coach brought in to restore Texas to national glory, but who now seems stuck treading water in the Big 12.
"I felt like we would come back sooner and a little bit more than we did," Goestenkors said. "I kept waiting for it. It was too little too late."
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