72 - 75 Final
  for this game

Texas holds off Miami behind Abram's shooting

Mar 23, 2008 - 10:32 PM LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Ticker) -- A.J. Abrams' hot shooting carried No. 2 seed Texas to a 75-72 victory over No. 7 Miami on Sunday in a South Region second-round contest.

Abrams scored 26 points and made 6-of-10 3-pointers for the Longhorns (30-6), who held off Miami's frantic late run to reach the "Sweet 16" for the fifth time in seven years. Texas also matched a school record for wins, set in 2006.

Miami (23-11) rallied from a 17-point deficit, closing within 74-72 on a pair of 3-pointers by Raymond Hicks in the final 11 seconds.

Abrams' biggest points came with 9.5 seconds remaining when he hit two free throws to give the Longhorns a 74-69 lead.

"Give Miami a lot of credit for a lot of heart, a lot of grit, a lot of determination," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "This time of year, it's not easy. We didn't expect that today, when we were up. It wasn't real pretty from our end."

After Hicks' second 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left, D.J. Augustin was fouled before any time went off the clock. He threw up an airball on his first attempt, then hit the second to give the Longhorns a 75-72 lead.

Miami could not get off a shot on its final possession as a long pass was batted away at the buzzer. The Longhorns secured a spot in the regional semifinals against top seed UCLA, which escaped with a 53-49 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday night.

"I was real happy with the effort we put out there," Abrams said. "We played a good defensive game, but we just had a little lapse there at the end."

The loss ended a successful season for the Hurricanes, who nearly doubled their win total from last season, when they won just 12 games.

Miami coach Frank Haith spend three seasons as an assistant under Barnes at Texas. But for most of the contest, he had no answers for the talented Longhorns.

Texas took control early, using an 11-0 spurt to open a 19-8 lead on Abrams' 3-pointer with 14:12 left in the first half.

"I was kind of surprised (by the open looks)," Abrams said. "I think it's my job to knock in some open jumpers."

The Longhorns maintained a double-figure lead for most of the contest and stretched their advantage to 60-43 on Augustin's two free throws with 10:53 to play.

Miami battled back, closing to 68-62 on two free throws by Jack McClinton with 1:37 remaining. McClinton paced the Hurricanes with 18 points.

Hicks, a 17-percent shooter from the arc, hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to make it 72-69. After Abrams converted a pair from the line, Hicks drilled another 3-pointer to pull Miami within two points.

"We knew they were a great team and that they were going to fight back," Augustin said.

Damion James contributed 16 points and Connor Atchley added 15 for the Longhorns.

Texas finished at 50 percent from 3-point range (13-of-26) while shooting only 44 percent (25-of-57) overall.