#11 Texas pushes win streak over Baylor to 22

WACO, Texas -- With nervous spectator Kevin Durant watching from behind the Texas bench, the Longhorns' 22nd straight victory over Baylor was much more difficult than it had to be.

Damion James had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 11 Texas to its fifth win in a row overall, 82-77 against the Bears on Saturday.

The Longhorns (21-4, 8-2 Big 12) could have used Durant to close out this one. They squandered a 14-point lead in the final 3 minutes with three turnovers and seven missed free throws, including three consecutive one-and-one chances during a 10-0 run by Baylor.

"If we make those free throws, it put more pressure on them," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We turned it over some. We knew they were going to be aggressive. But it changes everything if you step up and make free throws."

Still, like they have every time for 10 seasons since Barnes became their coach, the Longhorns beat Baylor (17-7, 5-5), never giving up the lead despite their poor finish.

Texas had five players in double-figure scoring.

James is among four returning starters who were also in the lineup last season with Durant, the sensational freshman who became the second overall pick by Seattle. Durant watched his old teammates during the NBA All-Star weekend.

"I told him before the game, you wanna play? It was good to see him," Barnes said. "He's very close to these guys. They're some of his best friends."

A.J. Abrams had 13 points and Justin Mason had 12 points. D.J. Augustin added 10 assists and eight points, but was only 2-of-12 from the field and missed three of the late free throws.

"Everybody gets tired, but we were out there fighting through it," Augustin said. `My teammates stepped up."

Gary Johnson, the Longhorns' current freshman standout, had 12 points and nine rebounds. Connor Atchley added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

After Augustin missed a one-and-one chance with 1:31 left, Tweety Carter and Henry Dugat made consecutive 3-pointers for Baylor.

The Bears were within 77-76 with 28 seconds left when Abrams stepped out of bounds in the backcourt for a turnover.

"I felt like I was in a bad dream," Mason said. "Anything that could go wrong was going wrong."

Except Baylor then made a mistake when Aaron Bruce, trying to inbound the ball with everybody covered, called a timeout the Bears didn't have and got a technical foul.

Abrams hit the first of his free throws, then Carter was fouled and hit a free throw -- the last point for Baylor coming with 16 seconds left. Two free throws by Augustin made it 81-77.

LaceDarius Dunn and Dugat each had 19 points for Baylor, which has lost five of six since getting into the national rankings for the first time since 1969.

The Bears spent two weeks in the Top 25, but dropped out after their 80-72 loss two weeks ago at Texas when they blew an early 14-point lead.

"We can't let a couple of games get us down because there's plenty of season to go," Baylor's Kevin Rogers said. "We can only take things from this game and learn."

Rogers had 12 points and 14 rebounds while Curtis Jerrells and Tweety Carter had 11 points each.

Baylor shot only 24 percent (9-of-38) before halftime. Then when the Bears finally hit a few field goals after halftime, the Longhorns answered each time.

Dugat made a fadeaway jumper and Dunn hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of 1:37.

Except Baylor only trimmed one point off its 14-point deficit in that spurt, and still trailed 55-42 when Abrams hit a 3-pointer with 14 1/2 minutes left.

Augustin had three of his 10 assists and made a 3-pointer in the first 2:50 after halftime when Texas used an 11-3 run.

After a nifty pass to Atchley for an easy layup, Augustin had an ally-oop pass to James for a dunk and Baylor coach Scott Drew called a timeout less than a minute into the half. Augustin then hit a 3-pointer before two more baskets by Atchley, the second an ally-oop dunk from Augustin, and another timeout.

Baylor was 0-for-13 on 3-pointers -- and 6-for-32 shooting overall -- before Dunn hit a rainbow 3-pointer with 4:23 left in the first half.

The Bears shot 60 percent (18-of-30) after halftime, including 7-of-14 3s. Texas responded with 63-percent shooting (17-of-27) with six 3-pointers.

"Ironically, when our offense comes on," Drew said, "Our defense goes off."


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