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Texas tops Baylor for 23rd straight time

Jan 28, 2009 - 6:44 AM WACO, Texas (Ticker) -- A.J. Abrams scored four of his 19 points in the final two minutes as Texas staved off Baylor, 78-72, on Tuesday.

The victory was Texas' 23rd straight in the series.

"It means nothing," Texas coach Rick Barnes said about the streak. "All it says is the programs are at different levels at different times. Scott Drew has done a good job to come in and build this thing where they have been ranked this year, so I don't think it means anything."

Texas (15-4, 4-1) held a 29-24 advantage in the second half, but Baylor rallied for a 9-0 run to take a 33-29 lead.

The game stayed within four points until late in the second half until Texas edged away to a 68-62 advantage when Curtis Jerrells lost control of the ball and Justin Mason took it the length of the floor for a layup.

"We just didn't get stops at the right time," Jerrells said. "Each game in the Big 12 is going to be (physical), and we just need to get use to that."

With 1:42 left, Abrams was fouled by Henry Dugat. He converted two of the three fouls shots to give the Longhorns a 72-68 lead. Earlier, Abrams had equaled the Big 12 mark for career 3-point shots with his 338th career 3-pointer. He is tied with with Jeff Boschee, who played at Kansas from 1999-2002.

LaceDarius Dunn hit a pair of foul shots to make it a two-point game, but Abrams responded with a jumper and Texas had a 74-70 advantage.

The Bears (15-5, 3-2) closed within 74-72 when Quincy Acy hit a pair of free throws with 49 seconds left.

"I was very proud of our team's effort," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "I felt that Texas made a couple more plays down the stretch and we missed a couple of free throws and they made a couple of free throws.

"I feel for our fans and I feel for our team because I know that they know the effort that everyone put out tonight."

The Longhorns then hit four free throws to seal the victory.

"Coming in, we expected a hard-fought game and I thought to start both teams were digging in, trying to play as hard as we could play both ways," Barnes said. "I thought it was a great team win. ... As complete of a win as we have had as a team."

Neither team had a good shooting night as Texas connected on 28-of-67 (42 percent) and Baylor only hit 24-of-65 (37 percent). The poor shooting carried beyond the arc as the Longhorns were 3-of-15 (20 percent) and the Bears 6-of-22 (27 percent) as defense ruled.

Damion James was the only other Longhorn in double figures with 14 points. However, he was 6-of-21 from the field.

"It was a very big win," James said. "We knew we needed to come in and execute our game plan."

The Bears were paced by Jerrells' 14 points. Again, he was off the mark on 12-of-18 shots. Dunn scored 12 points but hit just 2-of-10 from the floor.

"We knew coming in what type of guards they had," Abrams said. "They had some great guards out there. We know what they can do and I think we took it as a challenge tonight to see how we have progressed. And for the most part I think we did a good job."