February 21, 2007

Longhorns take Tech behind the woodshed 80-51

The No. 20 Texas Longhorns took the court at Frank Erwin Center Tuesday night with three preseason goals within reach. The Longhorns came out of the locker room on fire and left little doubt in the team's tenth Big 12 win an 80-51 thrashing of Texas Tech. The victory guarantees Texas a top four finish in league play (first round Big 12 tournament bye) and assures the team of winning 20 or more games for an eighth straight season.

The Longhorns got off to a great start behind the play of Justin Mason on both ends of the floor and the toughness and improving offense of Damion James. Mason scored 12 first-half points, while James finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

Texas (20-7, 10-3) played the first half at a pace that Texas Tech (17-11, 6-7) could not keep up with. On top of the play from role players Mason and James and the fast pace, the Longhorns were on fire from three-point range making the Red Raiders' job defensively next to impossible.

All five Longhorn starters scored in double figures, led by 18 points from A.J. Abrams, who did a terrific job of chasing Jarrius Jackson all night. Kevin Durant scored 17 and D.J. Augustin 16 joining Abrams, Mason and James in double figures.

LONGHORNS PLAY BEST HALF OF THE SEASON

The Texas Longhorns put together their best 20 minutes of basketball on the season in the opening half Tuesday night. Whether it was on the offensive or defensive end, Texas dominated the game from the start and never let Texas Tech come up for air.

James made a key basket for Texas for the first score of the game, hitting a 16-foot jumper when Texas Tech ran a double team at Durant on a post up attempt. Tech ran the double at Durant before an entry pass was ever attempted leaving James wide open from 16 feet free throw line extended. If future opponents are going to attempt to defend Durant with the very quick double, James will have open looks such as this and he must knock them down to keep the defense honest.

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