for this game

Texas slips past Wisconsin

Dec 24, 2008 - 6:12 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Damion James hit a critical basket and grabbed two key rebounds late in the game as eighth-ranked Texas thwarted Wisconsin, 74-69, on Tuesday.

James hit a short jumper to give Texas a 70-67 lead but Marcus Landry countered for the Badgers to make it a one-point game with less than two minutes left.

After a miss by A.J. Abrams, James grabbed the rebound. Texas worked the clock before Gary Johnson banked in a 20-foot shot to give the Longhorns a 72-69 lead with 23 seconds left in the game.

James then grabbed the rebound of a miss by Trevon Hughes. He handed the ball to Abrams, who was fouled and sank two free throws with six seconds left to make it 74-69 and ice the game.

"This was a really good win for us," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We've had some really good wins over the year, but what it is (about this win is) actually coming here in this arena, with their fans (who) are as classy and as good of fans that you could ever want to play in front of.

"For us to come in and get a win, which we haven't had much luck up here the last couple times we've been here, but tonight, was a good one for us."

James had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Abrams had 21 points and Johnson added 16 and 10 rebounds for Texas (10-2).

"He (James) really came up big," Barnes said. "I asked him while they were introducing the players (before the game) how many rebounds (are) you going to get tonight? He said 10. Then I said 10. And then he said, 'Well, no, I think it's unlimited tonight.' I think tonight is the highest he has had. And the fact that he got 12 of them on the defensive end is what he needs to do for us."

Wisconsin (9-3) was led by Hughes with 18 points and Jason Bohannon with 16. The Badgers are 58-5 in non-conference games under coach Bo Ryan.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Texas against Big 10 teams. The Longhorns had lost to Michigan State, 67-63, on Saturday in Houston.

The game was tight throughout with the lead never building more than a point or two for either team until Texas' final spurt.

"I thought we had some looks. We were trying to get to the free-throw line a little more," Ryan said. "(If) we made two more free throws, we shoot our average. Three of the guys go 11-for-11; a couple guys struggled. ... We had our chance. And it just goes to show you other teams can bank shots too. We are not the only one."

There were 10 ties in the game and the lead changed hands on 13 occasions. The Longhorns enjoyed a 20-11 advantage off the bench, getting 14 points from reserves in the second half.

Wisconsin scored 16 points off turnovers, but 14 of them came in the first half as Texas tightened its game after intermission.

Wisconsin had the hot hand from outside, canning 9-of-19 from beyond the arc. However, it was just 14-of-36 on two-point shots.

Texas was opposite: hitting 3-of-16 from long range and 25-of-46 on the remainder of their shots. The Longhorns were also 15-of-16 from the line and enjoyed a 40-25 advantage on the glass.

"Did you see the bodies? Did you see the players?" Ryan asked. "What do you want me to talk about? ... It is a battle - they are pretty active. Not only do they have the size, but they are pretty quick off the floor, they have good wing spans -- the whole thing."