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Augustin, second-half run lead Texas over Oral Roberts

Dec 19, 2007 - 4:22 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- It took a second pep talk from coach Rick Barnes for Texas to shake Oral Roberts.

D.J. Augustin scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half as the fifth-ranked Longhorns continued their unbeaten start with a 66-56 victory over the Golden Eagles on Tuesday.

A.J. Abrams added all 11 of his points after halftime for Texas (11-0), which continued its best start since beginning 14-0 in the 1981-82 campaign.

After a very tight first half where they needed two free throws by Augustin with 1:25 left to tie the score at 33-33, the Longhorns showed more determination after the break.

Connor Atchley split two free throws for Texas in the opening 34 seconds before Abrams hit consecutive jumpers and Augustin knocked down his only 3-pointer of the game for an 8-0 run.

"The first half we stood around a lot and we needed more movement," Barnes said. "In the second half, we got back to a little more random ball screens and movement. That's how we were playing earlier on in the year."

Although Oral Roberts managed to score the next four points, Abrams and Atchley each hit a jumper to open up a 45-37 lead with 15:38 remaining.

"I think the biggest thing is that they got (A.J.) Abrams going early in the second half," Golden Eagles coach Scott Sutton said. "In the first half, I thought we did a great job and smothered him with (Moses) Ehambe."

While Abrams stepped up offensively, the Oral Roberts players acknowledged that the whole team made an improvement after halftime.

"I think it was all about effort and I think they came out and put forth more effort in the second half," said Adam Liberty, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles managed to close back within three points following a layup by Kevin Sango nearly five minutes later, but Augustin converted six free throws and hit a layup on the following 11-3 run for a 60-49 advantage with 5:40 left.

Although shooting just 6-of-20 from the field, Augustin did go 11-of-12 on free throws.

"With the officials calling the game tight tonight, it makes it almost impossible to guard D.J. because he is so good with the basketball and he is so quick," Sutton said. "He does a great job of getting contact and drawing fouls. You have to give him credit, he did a nice job tonight and got to the line 12 times."

Atchley finished with 16 points for the Longhorns, who overcame 38 percent (22-of-58) shooting by holding the Golden Eagles to 20 percent (4-of-20) on 3-pointers.

Marcello Vealy scored 11 points and Robert Jarvis added 10 for Oral Roberts (6-4), which absorbed its ninth straight loss against the Big 12 squad.

"Overall I was proud of how we competed," Sutton said. "We missed some shots that we normally would make. But you have to give Texas a lot of credit, they did a good job of defending us."

Although they were facing the Longhorns for the first time since 1998, the Golden Eagles were not intimidated by the fifth-ranked team in the nation, taking an 8-6 lead after a jumper by Liberty with just under four minutes expired.

Texas answered back to score 13 of the game's next 20 points, taking its largest lead of the first half at 19-15 on a 3-pointer by Atchley, who had 11 points in the opening 20 minutes, with 8:53 remaining.

Yet, the Longhorns could not shake the Golden Eagles, who tied the game at 24-24 on a jumper by Shawn King just over a minute later.

The senior center hit another jumper for a 30-29 edge with 3:31 left, and Vealy's three-point play two minutes later made it a two-point advantage before Texas later sent the game into the half tied.

Oral Roberts was able to stay in the game early behind its work on the offensive glass, collecting 11 of its 15 second-chance points before the break.

"The first half, I thought defensively we were really solid other than the fact that we gave up 11-second chance points," Barnes said.