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Augustin sparks Texas to rout of Oklahoma

Feb 24, 2008 - 1:30 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- D.J. Augustin could not find his shot for most of the month of February. Consider those struggles over.

Augustin scored 19 points for No. 7 Texas en route to a convincing 62-45 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday in the Big 12 Conference.

The conference's second-leading scorer at 19.2 points per game, Augustin managed to shoot just 22 percent (15-of-68) from the field in his first five games in February.

However, the sophomore guard has once again found his stroke over the last two contests, shooting a combined 61 percent (17-for-28) in wins over Texas A&M and Oklahoma, enabling the Longhorns (23-4, 10-2 Big 12) to regain their early-season dominant form.

"I think people should really start mentioning Augustin for national player of the year, because he is on one of the best teams in the country and he is the orchestrator of their team," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said.

Even though he was held scoreless through the first 10:15 of the contest, Augustin made up for lost time over the rest of the first half, scoring 12 of Texas' final 19 points to stretch a 13-11 lead into a 32-21 advantage at the break.

"Every night he (Augustin) goes out there and he's the floor general," Longhorns swingman Damion James said. "He creates shots for me and my teammates. He works hard on defense which transitions into offense. He's a big-time player."

After both teams exchanged baskets in the first two minutes following intermission, Texas blew the game open over the next eight minutes as A.J. Abrams capped a 16-6 run with a three-point play to allow the Longhorns to establish a 50-29 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Augustin helped Texas extend that advantage to 24 points late in the second half. Oklahoma (18-9, 6-6) could not get any closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

James added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Longhorns, who have won 10 of the their last 13 contests against the Sooners.

"It's tough to battle uphill against a team as good as Texas," Capel said. "I think they are playing as well as anyone in the country."

While Augustin was finding his range once again, the Sooners were unable to find theirs throughout the game, hitting just 17 percent (5-of-30) of their shots from the field in the first half and shooting only 26 percent (14-of-53) from the field for the game.

Texas has limited five of the its last six opponents under 40 percent shooting shooting from the field.

"It's been going on for five or six games," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We continue to get better on defense. We started talking about this during February, about a way we have to separate ourselves from the rest of the league because all good teams do that during this time of the year."

"It is something coach has been expressing all year," James said. "We can go out and put ball pressure on the opponents and it's better to go out there and improve than just talk about improving."

Freshman forward Blake Griffin finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds - the only Sooner player to finish in double figures in both categories.