for this game

No. 11 Texas A&M tops No. 15 Texas 77-64

Mar 12, 2010 - 11:41 PM KANSAS CITY, Mo.(AP) -- The Aggies' big three came through again.

Tanisha Smith scored 21 points and Danielle Adams and Tyra White added 18 apiece as No. 11 Texas A&M used a big second-half run for a 77-64 victory over No. 15 Texas in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal Friday.

Smith, White and Adams entered the game accounting for 54 percent of Texas A&M's scoring this season. But in their first game of the Big 12 tournament, the trio from the Kansas City area one-upped themselves by providing 74 percent of the Aggies' offense.

"These Kansas City kids - 57 points between the three of them - it's very special to be able to bring them back home," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.

The Aggies advanced to a semifinal Saturday against undefeated and third-ranked Nebraska, which got 24 points from Kelsey Griffin in a 63-46 victory over Kansas State.

Smith, White and Adams sparked a 20-2 run to build a double-digit lead midway through the second half that put Texas A&M in control.

The Aggies (23-7) shot only 40 percent, but were picked up by timely scoring and efficient guard play. The trio accounted for 35 of the Aggies' first 40 points, including the final 27 of the first half.

"It was like a home game for us," Adams said.

After Ashleigh Fontenette's two free throws gave Texas a 40-38 lead early in the second half, the Aggies responded with their run to build a 16-point lead with 9 minutes left. Smith, White and Adams combined for 13 of the 20 points.

Sydney Colson hit a big 3-pointer during the Aggies' 20-2 run before getting a steal and converting a layup to give Texas A&M a 62-45 lead with 8:07 left.

The Aggies had 20 assists on 29 field goals.

"We have outstanding guards," Blair said. "And you win with outstanding guards. They made great decisions tonight."

Texas, meanwhile, went nearly six minutes without a point during Texas A&M's spurt.

Fontenette scored 21 points for Texas (22-10), but the Longhorns committed 26 turnovers and struggled to score against the Aggies' aggressive defense.

"That was the name of the game," Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said. "You can't score if you don't have the ball. We just gave them too many opportunities and they took advantage of it."

For 24 minutes stretching from the first half into the second, only Smith, White and Adams scored for the Aggies. They combined for 29 of Texas A&M's 34 first-half points.

The trio propelled fourth-seeded Texas A&M past the fifth-seeded Longhorns for the eighth consecutive time, including three meetings this season.

"Every time we play A&M they give us their best game and we give them our worst," said Texas' Brittainey Raven.

The Longhorns, who had pulled away from 12th-seed Missouri in the final minutes on Thursday, routinely turned the ball over and never appeared comfortable offensively against A&M.

The Longhorns actually a higher shooting percentage than the Aggies, but they took 19 fewer shots because of their turnovers.

"We tightened up our defense," Smith said. "We had a couple of steals and looked up in transition. That's basically where our points came from."

The Aggies last won the Big 12 championship in 2008, the last time the tournament was played in Kansas City.

"If Nebraska is going to lose," Goestenkors said, "I think it's going to be tomorrow."