Durant leads No. 25 Texas past Oklahoma
Austin, TX (Sports Network) – Kevin Durant scored a game-high 28 points and
also had 13 rebounds, as the 25th-ranked Texas Longhorns easily defeated
Oklahoma, 80-69, at Frank Erwin Center.
A.J. Abrams netted 20 points, hitting five three-pointers for the Longhorns
(13-3, 3-0 Big 12), who have won five in a row and eight of nine, and remain
unbeaten in conference play. Justin Mason had 14 points, while D.J. Augustin
added 10 points in the effort.
Nate Carter scored 18 to lead the Sooners (9-6, 1-2), who have lost three of
four. Taylor Griffin had 15 points, while Michael Neal donated 13 points as
the final player in double figures.
Oklahoma played without center Longar Longar, their leading scorer and
rebounder. He was suspended Friday for two games for throwing an elbow that
injured a Texas Tech player earlier in the week.
The Longhorns controlled the game from the opening tip, as Durant’s trey gave
the team an early 8-0 lead.
Texas opened up the lead to 26-13 midway through the first half thanks to
Durant’s jumper, and eventually carried a 43-33 edge into the break.
“We wanted to be physical with him (Durant),” said Griffin after the game. “We
know he is a great scorer and that he will get his points, but we tried to do
the best job on him by keeping him from catching the ball as much as we can
and making him feel as uncomfortable as possible. Whoever was guarding him
man-to-man had to go all out and rely on our other guys to help out.”
The outcome was never in doubt, as the Longhorns opened the second half on a
7-0 run, capped by Mason’s shot from the charity stripe at 17:43.
Texas continued to cruise and head coach Rick Barnes finally took Durant out
with more than 4 1/2 minutes to play and the Longhorns leading 79-52.
Oklahoma had a 12-0 run after that point, but never seriously threatened as
the clock ran out. The Sooners ended shooting 45 percent in the contest.
“We wanted to come out and improve,” said Abrama. “In the past we’ve started
slow and let teams hang around for awhile. We wanted to come out today with
high-intensity and get after it right away.”
Texas made 55 percent of its shots…The Longhorns improved to 10-0 at home
this season…The contest marked the 69th meeting between Texas and Oklahoma.
The Sooners hold a 45-23 lead in the all-time series that dates back to
February 25, 1910. Texas is 7-3 in the last 10 contests against Oklahoma.