Durant's double-double leads Texas to victoryNov 22, 2006 - 3:27 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Kevin Durant has not played like a freshman this season.
Durant recorded his third double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the 25th-ranked Longhorns to a 91-60 triumph over Nicholls State.
Texas (4-1) opened the second half with a 19-6 spurt, capped by Justin Mason's jumper with 11:53 remaining to increase their lead to 65-37.
The 6-9 Durant scored 13 of his 21 points in the half as the Longhorns shot 51 percent (35-68) from the field.
"We came out a little flat in the first half, and coach (Rick) Barnes kind of let us know at halftime what we needed to work on in the second half," Texas guard A.J. Abrams said. "He wanted us to force the tempo a little bit because they were sagging back. Coming into the game, he told us they would be playing a zone so he wanted us to drive the lane and push the tempo.
"He challenged us to do that in the second half. I think we responded well and came out and played a full-court man and pushed the tempo to where we like it, and we got the kind of shots we wanted due to this."
The Longhorns held a slim 24-19 lead with 7:55 to play in the first half but used a 22-12 run, sparked by Abrams' nine points, to close the opening 20 minutes with a 46-31 advantage.
"I thought he (Abrams) was good tonight and that he really tried to make an effort," Barnes said. "I thought he was trying to go out there and bother people and get his hands on some balls. If you look at his line, he had a great line. He came out and really tried to make a difference."
With the win, Barnes moved into second place on Texas' all-time victories list with 195.
Adonis Gray scored 26 points for Nicholls State (0-6), which shot just 34 percent (21-of-62).
"No question that was an outstanding basketball team that we just played," Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. "The guys shot the ball really well tonight. The game plan was to challenge them to take perimeter jump shots and try to take away their interior game. They certainly responded and were able to separate. I was proud of our kids. I thought we competed hard."
Ryan Bathie added 14 points for the Colonels, which had lost their first five games by an average of 27.4 points.
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