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Abrams, Augustin lead Texas past Oklahoma

Feb 7, 2008 - 5:30 AM NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Texas found the basket when it counted, and picked up another conference win along the way.

A.J. Abrams scored 22 points and D.J. Augustin added 19 to lead the 12th-ranked Longhorns to a 64-54 win over Oklahoma on Wednesday in a Big 12 Conference matchup.

Justin Mason chipped in 11 points for Texas (18-4, 5-2 Big 12), which overcame a terrible first half by shooting 14-of-25 (56 percent) from the floor in the second.

"We just came out and played aggressive in the second half," Augustin said. "That really turned the game around. In the first half we were hesitant, and in the second half we really came out aggressively."

After managing just eight field goals in the opening half, the Longhorns played to their strengths in the second and began connecting from the outside. Augustin set the tone with a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half and Abrams forged Texas' first tie of the game with a shot from the arc to make it 37-37 with 14:06 to play.

"We couldn't stop them from hitting outside shots," Sooners freshman forward Blake Griffin said. "The problem was not inside. We let A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin get hot. They are always hot but we let them get too many good looks. They converted all of those opportunities."

"They came out with a run to start the second half and got it close," Oklahoma junior forward Taylor Griffin said. "We hit some shots and stayed even with them for a while. Then we just could not get a shot."

After David Godbold put Oklahoma (15-7, 3-4) back on top at 44-42 with a layup at the 11:27 mark, Texas ripped off a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take the lead for good. Abrams and Augustin scored five points apiece in the spurt, with each connecting from the arc.

"They were running (A.J.) Abrams off screens," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "He really does a good job using screens. He was getting open looks. (D.J.) Augustin is a tough guy to guard. He's a tough guy to contain."

Blake Griffin scored five straight points to bring the Sooners back to within 52-49, but Mason had eight points in the final 5:13 to help the Longhorns seal the win.

"The thing that really hurt us the most was (Justin) Mason with those three 3's," Capel said. "In conference play, he was 1-of-8 in six games and we didn't want to leave him. I don't think we left him. We gave him one open look in the first half, but he had two big 3's in the second half when we were in the zone and trying to control Augustin and Abrams a little bit."

The first half featured some sloppy shooting from both teams as the Sooners charged to the lead. Taylor Griffin's layup gave Oklahoma its biggest lead of the night, 17-7, with 14:24 left in the first.

Abrams and Augustin sparked an 11-4 run to cut it to 21-18 with 6:46 left, before Blake Griffin scored six straight points over the next two minutes to push it back to 27-18.

Abrams snapped Blake Griffin's run with a 3-pointer, and Texas ended the half on a 7-2 run to go into the locker room trailing 29-25.

"We had no flow to our offense in the first half," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We would get the ball down the floor but then stop and allow Oklahoma to adjust their defense. Again, we would just dribble and dribble. Guys just didn't get enough done and we had no flow. In the second half, we just had better flow."

The Griffin brothers and Tony Crocker were the only Sooners to find the basket in the opening 20 minutes, combining to shoot 10-of-16 from the floor while the rest of the team went 0-of-12. Crocker went 3-of-4 from the arc and scored all 11 of his points in the first.

Taylor Griffin managed just four points in the second half as Oklahoma went just 8-of-26 (31 percent) after the break.

The Longhorns were even worse before the break, shooting 8-of-32 (25 percent) as a team. Abrams and Augustin scored nine points apiece, but combined to shoot 5-of-14 (36 percent) from the field.

"We made some more shots in the second half," Barnes said. "I figured we would because we are a pretty good shooting team.

"What I admire about D.J. (Augustin) is he is really working hard trying to figure out exactly what he needs to do and where he needs to go. He was working really hard early and getting the other guys involved. I told him that we had to push the tempo in the second half. We were just dribbling too much and not doing anything in the first half."