for this game

Abrams, Texas cruise past Austin Peay

Mar 21, 2008 - 10:57 PM LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Ticker) -- A.J. Abrams and second-seeded Texas had little trouble advancing past the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Abrams scored 26 points Friday as the Longhorns cruised to a 74-54 triumph over No. 15 Austin Peay in a South Regional matchup.

Scoring 25 or more points for the fourth time this season, Abrams went 10-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-10 on 3-pointers.

"I got in a good rhythm," Abrams said. "D.J. (Augustin) was penetrating and kicking the ball out, giving me good looks."

"A.J. knocked down some tough shots," Augustin said. "I know to look for him, because that's an easy assist for me."

Connor Atchley finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks and Damion James added 10 and nine for Texas (29-6), which will next meet seventh seed Miami on Sunday.

This game was never in doubt.

Six different players for the Longhorns scored - five points from Abrams - in the first eight minutes as they jumped out to an early 19-3 lead.

"You realize the way our players came out and started the game, the respect that they had for Austin Peay," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We started shooting the ball really well today."

The Governors (24-11) could not get the deficit down to single digits from that point on as they were held to just 28 percent (17-of-59) shooting from the field.

Justin Mason had nine points with 10 rebounds and eight assists and Dexter Pittman scored 11 and pulled down nine boards for Texas, which shot 45 percent (27-of-59).

"I knew that I had to go out there and play defense on smaller guys," Pittman said. "I just see it as a challenge - a dream - I grew up watching the NCAA Tournament on TV."

"Dex is a big target," Augustin said. "He can post up in the lane and I don't think anybody can stop him down low."

Augustin, who averaged 19.8 points during the season, was held to just six points but did hand out eight assists.

"The great thing about our team is that we know somebody is going to step up big for us," Abrams said. "We all have that chemistry."

Ernest Fields led Austin Peay with 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting and nine rebounds.