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November 28, 2007

Texas beats Texas Southern to stay undefeated

AUSTIN, Texas Damion James had 19 points and 10 rebounds and No. 8 Texas ran its record to 6-0 for only the second time in coach Rick Barnes' 10 seasons with a 98-61 win over Texas Southern on Wednesday night.

Getting a seventh straight win is likely to be much tougher: the Longhorns travel to California to play No. 2 UCLA on Sunday.

Texas started the 2005-06 season 8-0. That team shared the Big 12 title and advanced to the regional final of the NCAA tournament.

To take it back much farther, Texas has won its first six games by at least 15 points, the first time the Longhorns have done that since 1915-16.

D.J. Augustin added 20 points for the Longhorns, who turned 24 turnovers by Texas Southern (1-5) into 34 points.

Kevin Abanobi and Anthony Ike both scored 15 points for Texas Southern, which hit 12 3-pointers.

Texas, which shot 64 percent in beating No. 11 Tennessee on a neutral court last week, fell far off that pace back home, shooting 41 percent in the first half against the Tigers. A.J. Abrams, who came in averaging 22.8 points, was 2-for-8 in the first half, including 1-for-7 on 3-pointers, his specialty.

Texas Southern kept it close in the first half with 3-pointers. Spotty Texas defense left shooters wide open on several occasions and the Tigers got good bounces on a couple of others that just beat the shot clock.

Texas stretched an early lead to 32-20 with a 14-2 run keyed by a 3-pointer from Abrams and consecutive baskets by Justin Mason. But the Tigers closed the half with consecutive 3-pointers by Abanobi, Raymond Robinson and Ike to pull within 39-32.

Another Texas breakdown left Abanobi wide open to start the second half and he swished his fourth 3-pointer to quickly cut the Texas lead to four. But that was about it for the Tigers.

Augustin answered Abanobi's basket with a 3 and Mason hit two free throws after a steal and Texas Southern's Matt Miller was whistled for an intentional foul. Abrams and Augustin hit layups and the nine-point swing put the Longhorns ahead 48-35.

The game quickly turned into a rout. Texas led 60-45 when James and Mason combined for 10 straight points to blow it wide open, stretching the lead to 70-45 with just under 10 minutes left.

For more coverage of Texas, visit OrangeBloods.com.

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