for this game

Augustin, Texas hold on to beat Iowa State

Feb 11, 2007 - 1:02 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Kevin Durant has garnered tons of headlines as arguably the top freshman in the country. D.J. Augustin may warrant some attention as well.

Augustin scored a season-high 31 points to lead 25th-ranked Texas to a 77-68 triumph over Iowa State in a Big 12 Conference contest.

The victory snapped a two-game skid for the Longhorns (17-7, 7-3 Big 12), who suffered a one-point upset loss a week ago to Kansas State in their last game here.

The conference's leading scorer, Durant struggled Saturday, managing just 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting. After netting 11 points in the first half to pace Texas to a 42-23 halftime lead, the 6-9 Durant virtually disappeared after the break.

"I wasn't on tonight, so we put it on our defense," Durant said. "We played great defense the first half and got turnovers, and we took a couple steps back on defense in the second half. But we got key stops when we needed them."

Augustin, Texas' speedy floor general, took over down the stretch, scoring nine of the Longhorns' last 18 points.

"I think we saw the best performance of the year by D.J. tonight, maybe the best performance by any player on the team because of what he did on both ends," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "What was more important is that he led the team tonight with confidence. He led today like he has never led before."

"D.J. really stepped up being a leader tonight," Durant added. "He is starting to become more vocal and he is the biggest part of our program right now. Without his leadership, we wouldn't be playing so well."

Augustin, who also collected six assists and four steals, has been outstanding over his last eight games, averaging 15.9 points and 7.6 assists in that stretch.

"Coach Barnes wants me to shoot more, but I am still going to be the same player I have always been," Augustin said. "I'm going to be looking for my teammates first, and in turn they're going to look for me as well."

Durant had six rebounds and five steals while fellow freshman Damion James chipped in 10 points and five boards for Texas, which led by as many as 20 points in the second half before fending off a furious late rally by the Cyclones.

"You can say all of the right things at halftime to fire them up, but they still think they have it won," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. "I credit our guys. I told them not to look at the scoreboard because there isn't a 19-point play, so play each possession."

"Iowa State came out more aggressive in the second half, and they got on the boards more and did better on the rotation," Barnes added. "I think we came out with less energy in the second half for whatever reason."

Mike Taylor collected 25 points, six rebounds and five assists while Jiri Hubalek added 18 points and eight boards for Iowa State (12-12, 3-7), which cut its deficit to seven late in the contest.

"We came out slow and didn't execute the game plan, making the score snowball on us early," Taylor said. "Texas is a really talented and good team. They execute really well for a young team."

    --- --- -----
    IOWA ST 23 45 68
    TEXAS (25) 42 35 77 FINAL

    Feb 10 3:41 PM

    IOWA ST 23
    TEXAS (25) 42 HALFTIME

    Feb 10 2:32 PM