Ridley leads Texas over Samford 59-49

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Samford coach Scott Padgett figured that Cam Ridley would wear down eventually, but the Texas center never did.

''He kept wanting the ball,'' Padgett said.

Ridley scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds to help Texas beat Samford 59-49 Friday night.

Longhorns coach Shaka Smart only wanted his team to make better use of him.

''Right now, obviously, he's playing better than anybody for us,'' Smart said. ''We need to find ways to continue to get him the basketball.''

All four of Ridley's baskets in the first half came after he secured offensive rebounds.

''As a big man it's my job to crash the glass and chase every rebound,'' he said.

Javan Felix added 11 for Texas (4-3), which led 30-20 after the first half.

The 6-foot-10, 290-pound Ridley has converted 72 percent of his shots this season. Samford (6-3) had nobody who could handle him around the basket.

''They have a monster in the middle that requires so much attention, and it opens so many things up for them,'' Padgett said. ''He battled. I put three or four different centers on him. He's a horse to try and box out with one or two guys.''

Demarcus Holland, who left the game with foul trouble early in the first half, returned with a flourish, scoring the first eight Texas points of the second half to spark a 10-2 run. The Longhorns led 40-22 on Ridley's dunk with 14:40 left.

The Longhorns helped create that surge by unleashing the full-court defensive pressure Smart was renowned for using at Virginia Commonwealth before coming to Texas this season. Samford committed four turnovers during the first four minutes of the second half.

''That's how we want to play,'' Holland. ''Pressure the team into making mistakes.''

Samford answered with a 7-0 run but cut the deficit no closer than eight from there. Christen Cunningham led the Bulldogs with 16 points and Wyatt Walker scored 14. Darius Jones-Gibson, Samford's leading scorer coming in with more than 17 a game, was limited to seven.

The 23 points from starting guards Cunningham and Jones-Gibson were more than eight fewer than their combined average. Jones-Gibson began the game ranked fourth in the nation in free throw attempts with eight a game. He shot just two against Texas.

''Their guards did a good job,'' Padgett said.


Prince Ibeh, the Longhorns' backup center, left the game with 11:47 remaining after he was fouled, landing on his back, while attempting to secure an alley-oop pass near the rim.

''He took a pretty hard fall,'' coach Shaka Smart said. ''I don't know what the exact prognosis is, but at the very least he bruised that thing pretty bad back there just above the tailbone.''


Samford: Forward Jamal Shabazz did not have a successful trip home. Shabazz, from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, scored four points. He totaled 37 in his previous two games. . The Bulldogs have been successful since starting the season in their ability to get to the free-throw line. They rank third nationally in free throws made and seventh in attempts.

Texas: Guard Javan Felix shot 3-pointers was 3 of 5 from 3-point range Friday night. This season he has hit 16 of 31. . Texas and Samford only played one other time, in November 2005. The Longhorns, with eventual NBA players LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson and P.J. Tucker, won 77-33.


Samford is at Florida A&M on Dec. 12.

Texas hosts Texas-San Antonio on Tuesday.