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Augustin, James help Texas cruise past Texas Southern

Nov 29, 2007 - 5:15 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- D.J. Augustin and Damion James helped Texas continue to roll so far this season.

Augustin had 20 points and James added 19 points and 10 rebounds as the eighth-ranked Longhorns surged past Texas Southern, 98-61, on Wednesday.

"The thing that I talked (about) at halftime more than anything were the close shots that we rushed, but I didn't have a problem with us speeding the tempo up," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I felt that over time, our size would wear them down and that happened."

The sophomore Augustin made his first four shots - three from the arc - en route to scoring 13 points in the first half as the Longhorns held a 39-32 lead at the break.

Texas (6-0) has won all six games by at least 15 points this season. It also marked the second time in three seasons that the Longhorns began the campaign with a 6-0 record.

However, Texas will face its biggest test to date on Sunday when it travels to No. 1 UCLA.

"We're going to find out Sunday night a lot about our basketball team," Barnes said. "What I've seen up to this point, I think that UCLA is the best team in college basketball. I think they are a very talented team, a very well-coached basketball team and a team that really defends."

The Longhorns led by only 10 points with just over 15 minutes to play before James and Justin Mason combined for 14 points during a 19-4 spurt that gave the Longhorns a 70-45 bulge with 9:38 remaining.

Mason finished with 16 points, while leading scorer A.J. Abrams added 10 for the Longhorns, who shot 51 percent (39-of-76) for the game.

"They (Texas Southern) were hitting a lot of shots and really catching us off guard," Mason said. "Once they cut the lead to single digits, we had to really pick it up."

Texas led by one-point midway through the first half but used a 13-2 run to take a 32-20 lead with 5:11 left in the period.

Texas Southern (1-5) made its last three shots - all from beyond the arc - as the Tigers cut the deficit to just seven points at the half.

After the Tigers made a 3-pointer to start the second half, the Longhorns used a 9-0 run - keyed by five points from Augustin - to take a 48-35 lead with 17:28 to play.

"I think we played with more energy in the second half," Mason said. "We may have come out thinking the game would be a little bit slower, but we made the good halftime adjustment and came out ready to play."

Kevin Abanobi and Anthony Ike each scored 15 points to lead Texas Southern, which has lost five straight.

The Tigers were outrebounded, 41-27, and committed 24 turnovers that led to 34 points for the Longhorns.

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    TEXAS SOUTHERN 32 29 61
    TEXAS (8) 39 59 98 FINAL

    Nov 28 9:50 PM


    Nov 28 8:41 PM