GW Falls To No. 19 Texas, 88-72
Greg Collucci hit five 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 23 points.
Dec 29, 2003
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas coach Rick Barnes shuffled his starting lineup and came up with a winner Monday night.
Freshman P.J. Tucker scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first collegiate start to lead the 19th-ranked Longhorns to an 88-72 victory over George Washington.
"P.J. Tucker dominated the game," George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said. "He truly was the difference."
The Longhorns (6-2) opened the game with an 11-0 run that was keyed by three inside baskets by Tucker. The 6-foot-5 Tucker, who was held scoreless in Texas' 89-61 loss to then-No. 3 Duke on Dec. 20, made his first five shots and was 12-of-16 for the game. All of his field goals were within 5 feet of the basket.
"P.J. was unstoppable tonight," Texas forward Brian Boddicker said. "He got whatever he wanted down low."
The Colonials (6-5) finally scored when Carl Elliott hit a 3-pointer with 15:11 left in the first half. Another 3-pointer and a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Elliott made it 17-12 before the Longhorns put together a 15-0 run midway through the first half.
Kenny Taylor hit two 3-pointers and had eight points during the run, while Royal Ivey had a steal and a stutter-step drive to the basket that resulted in a three-point play. Tucker capped the run with another strong move to the basket for a layup, and the Longhorns led 32-12 with 7:29 left in the first half.
George Washington cut the lead to 62-50 with 9:44 to play behind the strong outside shooting of Greg Collucci, who hit five 3s in the second half.
But Texas pulled away again behind the inside presence of Tucker, who had 10 offensive rebounds, and the outside shooting of Taylor, who finished with 19 points, including five 3-pointers.
Collucci led George Washington with 23 points, while T.J. Thompson added 19.
Tucker, who came in averaging 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds, has four double-doubles in eight games.
"Tucker is without a doubt the surprise player in the country," Hobbs said.
Barnes was pleased with Tucker's play.
"P.J. Tucker definitely had an impressive night," Barnes said.