AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—Bob Knight got a standing ovation and a rousing cheer from Texas fans for getting his 900th victory earlier this season.
Then the Longhorns went out and dominated the Red Raiders—again.
The pre-game pleasantries behind them, D.J. Augustin scored 19 points and A.J. Abrams broke out of a shooting slump with 17 points Saturday night as No. 12 Texas rolled to an easy 73-47 win over the Red Raiders.
“I really appreciated that,” Knight said of the ovation. “I think we’ve always been treated really well down there.”
Knight has been treated better than his teams. Texas has won 12 in a row over Tech in Austin, including several routs in recent years. The last three Texas wins in Austin have been by 26 or more points.
“I wish we could be like that with everybody,” Abrams said.
Texas (16-3, 3-1 Big 12) won this one with tough defense in the first half and an offensive surge to start the second.
Texas held the Red Raiders to 16 points in the first half and kept their top scorer, Martin Zeno, in check the entire game. Defended most of the way by Justin Mason and Augustin, Zeno was 3-of-12 shooting for nine points.
Mike Singletary led the Red Raiders (11-8, 2-3) with 11 points, all in the second half.
Abrams, Texas’ best 3-point shooter, had been stuck in a 7-of-32 slump from long range in the Longhorn’s first three conference games. He missed his first two of this one, then found his touch in the second half and hit three of five.
“I kind of felt like I had let my team down in those games,” Abrams said. “But I never lost confidence. I always think when it leaves my hand that it’s going in.”
Abrams scored 15 points after halftime as Texas seized control of what was a tight defensive game the first 20 minutes.
Texas coach Rick Barnes said he never worried about Abrams’ slump.
“Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t. As long as you take good shots,” Barnes said.
Texas led 28-16 at the break and a 16-6 run early in the second half broke the game open. The final margin was a breather for the Longhorns, who won their previous two games by two points each.
Texas outrebounded the Red Raiders 38-27 and forced 15 turnovers, all the while holding Tech to 36 percent shooting. The Red Raiders were three of 13 on 3-pointers.
The first half was all defense, and poor shooting when either team managed to get an open look. Texas was 11-of-31 shooting—and 0-of-8 on 3-pointers— while the Red Raiders had more turnovers (eight) than field goals (six).
“We wanted to pick the tempo up and I think their defense got us bogged down. With our style of play, we need to get out and run,” Abrams said.
Texas quickly revved things up in the second half.
Augustin had ended the first half with an off-balance jumper that rattled around the rim and bounced high before falling in, then hit a 3-pointer for Texas’ first basket of the second.
Tech began bumbling around on offense—phantom passes into the bench and dribbles off a foot and out of bounds—as Texas pushed its lead to 42-24.
Abrams finally hit a 3-pointer and his long jumper put Texas up 48-28 with nearly 12 minutes left. He went on a roll from there, finishing the night six of 12 from the field.
“We got beat by a very good team that played very well tonight,” Knight said. “I’m sure we have played better this year than we have tonight, but we weren’t playing against Texas when we did.”