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Augustin leads Texas to Big 12 semis

Mar 14, 2008 - 8:05 PM KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- D.J. Augustin made sure that eighth-ranked Texas would survive its first test of the Big 12 Conference tournament.

Augustin scored 24 points Friday as the top-seeded Longhorns advanced to the Big 12 semifinals with a 66-59 victory over Oklahoma State.

Augustin shot 6-of-11 from the floor - including 5-of-7 from the arc - and Damion James added 23 points and 11 rebounds for Texas (27-5), which has won 11 of its last 12 contests.

"It was pretty good," Augustin said. "We can go back and work on some things, and I think we played pretty good zone defense. Everybody was playing their role, playing their part and we got stops in there and it worked well for us."

Texas will meet the winner of Friday's matchup between Colorado and Oklahoma in the semifinals.

The Longhorns held the lead for most of the first half, but the Cowboys went on a 10-2 run to close out the half. Terrel Harris capped the burst with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Oklahoma State a 33-32 edge at the break.

But Texas took control in the second half.

Augustin scored eight points as the Longhorns start the half on a 14-0 run, grabbing a 46-33 lead on James' putback.

"We needed to get stops on defense and not let them get easy baskets," Augustin said of the burst. "They got a lot of great players. I think we did a great job tonight helping each other and playing pretty good defense."

Trailing by double digits for most of the second half, Oklahoma State made it interesting late. Byron Eaton, James Anderson and Obi Muonelo each knocked down a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, cutting the deficit to 58-55 with 3:47 remaining.

"It was just we didn't want to exchange baskets with them," James said of the club's response to Oklahoma State's run. "We really wanted to get stops on the other end. But Coach always told us to put pressure on the basket and either in the post or D.J. or (Justin) Mason driving the ball. We were just able to get in there and people made plays."

The Cowboys, however, failed to get any closer down the stretch.

Ibrahima Thomas scored a career-high 19 points and Muonelo added 13 for Oklahoma State (17-15), which has lost to Texas in all three meetings this season. The Longhorns also defeated the Cowboys, 62-57, in their regular-season finale on Sunday.

"I thought we did some good things, some of the things that we didn't do so well last week, I thought we improved on," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We had different guys do some different things. Obviously, D.J. and Damian throughout were terrific."

Mason dished out eight assists and Connor Atchley grabbed seven rebounds for Texas.