James, Texas top Oregon in MauiNov 27, 2008 - 12:58 AM LAHAINA, Hawaii (Ticker) -- Damion James scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as seventh-ranked Texas posted a 70-57 victory over Oregon on Wednesday in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational.
Justin Mason poured in 18 points with six assists and six rebounds while reserve Gary Johnson added 12 points and eight boards for the Longhorns (4-1), who were coming off a dramatic, 81-80, loss to Notre Dame on Tuesday.
"You're always disappointed when you don't get to play in a championship game," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Consolation games are really hard to play in, but I told the team last night this would be a character game and a chance to find out what we're about."
This one was never close, despite Texas not getting much production from A.J. Abrams and Connor Atchley. Abrams finished with nine points and Atchley had zero on 0-of-5 shooting.
"Our coaches did a great job of getting us ready for the game," James said. "This is what we do, this is our life. It's like a job. It was just another day for us."
James shot 9-of-11 from the floor with five offensive rebounds and two blocks while the Longhorns' tenacious defense never allowed Oregon to get in rhythm.
"We're obviously pleased with what Damion James did," Barnes said. "That's what we're looking for from him."
Joevan Catron finished with 13 points and Tajuan Porter and Garrett Sim each added 11 for the Ducks (3-3), who were held to 35 percent (18-of-52) from the field.
"Games like this and North Carolina show how hard you have to play every night," Porter said. "They prepared us for the Pac-10 season. Our bodies are a little worn out, but it was good for us and we just have to get better."
Sim's 3-pointer gave Oregon an early 7-2 advantage with 16:08 left in the first half. But the Ducks did not make another field goal for nearly 13 minutes as Texas went on a 25-3 run over that stretch.
The Longhorns took a 31-20 lead into the intermission but failed to pull away after the break.
"I'm proud of our guys for the way they came out and played, especially in the second half," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "When you don't shoot the ball well, and we didn't in the first half - missing layups and free throws, and we were still there at halftime."
Porter knocked down a shot from the arc with 14:34 to play to pull Oregon to within 41-33, but Texas proceeded to go on an 11-2 burst to seal the victory.
- EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL
NCAA BB EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
TEXAS (7) 31 39 70
OREGON 20 37 57 FINAL
Nov 26 6:38 PM
- EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL
NCAA BB (7) TEXAS 31
OREGON 20 HALFTIME
Nov 26 5:23 PM
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