Abrams leads Texas to 21st straight win over BaylorFeb 3, 2008 - 1:45 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- A.J. Abrams made sure upstart Baylor once again was left looking for answers against one of the Big 12 Conference's perennial powers.
Abrams scored 20 points and Damion James added 17 as 10th-ranked Texas continued its longtime success against the Bears with an 80-72 victory on Saturday.
Connor Atchley scored 14 points and freshman Gary Johnson added 12 for the Longhorns (17-4, 4-2 Big 12), who beat the Bears for the 21st straight time.
"Tonight, we didn't want to lose," Abrams said. "I had no idea of the streak, so I'm glad we won."
Despite the lopsided history, guard Curtis Jerrells has felt Baylor always has pushed Texas.
"I think every time we play them, we should win," he said. "We always give ourselves a chance to win, and then we give it up to them."
Baylor (16-4, 4-2), which was off to its best start since the 1945-46 season, dropped its second straight game following a thrilling win in five overtimes over Texas A&M on January 23.
The Bears were coming off a 77-71 loss at Oklahoma last Saturday - their 27th consecutive setback in the series with the Sooners.
"With this conference, you have to bring your A game every night," Baylor forward Kevin Rogers said. "I think in our past two games, we haven't played well. We have faced this before. We just have to get back in the gym and tweak some things and get that bite and hunger back that we had before these two losses."
Baylor had a 14-point lead in the first half but saw Texas chip away before taking a 41-40 edge on a 3-pointer by Atchley with 17:08 remaining.
Although the Longhorns went ahead by six points several minutes later, the Bears were able to tie it at 55-55 on a layup by Rogers with 10:07 left.
However, Abrams responded with a 3-pointer and Texas pulled ahead, 67-61, on another basket from the arc by Atchley with 5:03 to play. James added a jumper moments later, and Baylor never got closer than four points thereafter.
Rogers scored 20 points for the Bears, who absorbed their first road loss of the season.
Ending up shooting just 42 percent (26-of-92), Texas was able to work its way back from its early deficit due to some solid defense. After the Bears went 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, the Longhorns managed to bring that total down to 34 percent (11-of-32), including 2-of-12 on 3-pointers, in the second half.
"We had shots and they just didn't go down," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "The difference was that on defense, we stayed with it. We knew that our pick-and-roll defense was going to be really important."
Texas also did a good job hitting the boards, finishing with a 37-33 total advantage and a 17-11 margin on the offensive end. James had eight rebounds and Atchley and Johnson added seven each.
"Credit Texas for getting on the boards and getting to the free-throw line," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "I thought they were more aggressive than we were, especially in the second half. They did a good job winning the game, and I don't think we gave it to them."
One reason for some of the Longhorns' offensive struggles was the play of leading scorer D.J. Augustin, who managed only nine points on 1-of-7 shooting. The sophomore point guard did hand out seven assists.
"He didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but you have nights like that and he did something else to help us win," Abrams said. "He's the same old person. Not knocking in shots like he usually does, but he helped us on the defensive end and on the offensive end as far as assists."
Jerrells, who scored a career-high 36 points in the win over Texas A&M, had 12 in this one. Freshman LaceDarius Dunn also scored 12 for Baylor, which held a 14-2 advantage in fast-break points.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
BAYLOR 38 34 72
TEXAS (10) 34 46 80 FINAL
Feb 2 3:56 PM
- NCAA BB
(10) TEXAS 34 HALFTIME
Feb 2 2:34 PM
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