Augustin, Texas top Kansas St. to complete undefeated monthFeb 26, 2008 - 6:52 AM MANHATTAN, Kansas (Ticker) -- D.J. Augustin helped Texas wrap up a memorable month.
Augustin scored 24 points as the fifth-ranked Longhorns closed out an undefeated February with a 74-65 victory over slumping Kansas State in the Big 12 Conference on Monday.
A.J. Abrams scored all 13 of his points in the second half as Texas finished 8-0 in February - its first undefeated mark in the month since the 1962-63 season.
With the eight straight wins, the Longhorns (24-4, 11-2 Big 12) strengthened their hold on the top spot in the conference, moving 1 1/2 games ahead of idle Kansas (9-3).
"We are just taking every game as it is," Abrams said. "We had a big game tonight. We have to put this one behind us and look forward to Texas Tech. I don't think anyone is thinking about going undefeated or anything like that. We are just trying to play Texas basketball every day."
Coming off an historic effort with 44 points in a loss to Baylor, freshman Michael Beasley had 30 points and 15 rebounds for the Wildcats (18-9, 8-5).
Although he fell short of the league-record 28 points he collected in the first half against the Bears, Beasley did have 17 in the opening 20 minutes of this one to forge a 30-30 tie.
"(Kansas State coach Frank Martin) was doing a good job of curling (Beasley) into the lane, which is a hard thing to guard because he has such good hands," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "When Beasley catches it he puts a lot of pressure on you."
Looking to turn around its struggles, Kansas State went ahead, 37-34, behind a layup by Beasley less than four minutes into the second half. Even though that lead got as big as five points with 15:23 to go, Texas was able to tie the contest at 47-47 three minutes later.
That surge by the Longhorns was part of a 16-5 run that put them ahead, 57-50, following a three-point play by Augustin with 8:21 remaining.
"Maybe a minute before that we're (up) four or five points," Martin said. "Whatever that run was, you can add another four or five points to it. It was plain and simple we lost (A.J.) Abrams on back-to-back plays coming out of timeouts and he made two threes. Then (Connor) Atchley got some offensive rebounds, got some putbacks. Bottom line is in the second half they shot 56 percent from the field. That's two games in a row that defensively we didn't do our jobs in the second half."
The Wildcats got no closer than three points thereafter as they went on to lose for the third straight time and fourth in five games.
"Like Coach (Martin) said, they've been playing better than any team in the country," Beasley said. "They are a good team. They defend. They have a whole army. We played our hearts out we just didn't come up with the win."
Despite his strong effort, Texas kept Beasley in check down the stretch, as the forward had just five points - all on free throws - and missed his four shots over the final 13 minutes.
"The guards really pressured the ball and helped out our big men as much as we could," Augustin said. "I think we always do a great job against great players like Michael Beasley and those guys."
Atchley scored 12 of his 14 points after the break and grabbed seven rebounds for Texas, which shot 47 percent (27-of-57) - including 10-of-22 on 3-pointers.
One reason for the tight first half was Texas' foul issues for both Abrams and Atchley. The duo, however, were able to shake off those issues after intermission, combining for 25 of the Longhorns' 44 second-half points.
Overall, Abrams and Atchley went 6-of-9 on 3-pointers.
"We worked through the foul trouble in the first half and I thought what Connor (Atchley) did in the second half might be as good of a performance that he has had since he has been at Texas," Barnes said.
While Beasley extended his NCAA freshman record with his 24th double-double, teammate Bill Walker failed to follow up his 31-point effort against Baylor, finishing with just one point on 0-of-14 shooting.
Walker came into the matchup averaging 16.8 points on 48 percent shooting.
"Bill is a great player and he just had a rough night," Augustin said. "That happens sometimes in basketball. We just tried to help each other out and we played great team defense."
Freshman Jacob Pullen had five 3-pointers and 19 points for Kansas State, which finished 33 percent (22-of-67) from the field.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
TEXAS (5) 30 44 74
KANSAS ST 30 35 65 FINAL
Feb 25 11:15 PM
- NCAA BB
(5) TEXAS 30
KANSAS ST 30 HALFTIME
Feb 25 9:59 PM
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