NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—Few people have been more proficient at winning in Norman than Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops. Maybe a little of that rubbed off on Texas’ Rick Barnes.
The Longhorns’ basketball coach spent the night in a room loaded with Stoops decor, then watched from the sideline as his guard tandem of A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin led No. 12 Texas to a 64-54 win Wednesday night against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry.
“For whatever reason, I was assigned the Bob Stoops suite and there was about 10,000 pictures of him,” said Barnes, who also visited Oklahoma’s football field before the game. “We were pretty intimate.”
Abrams scored 22 points and Augustin added 19 points and seven assists. The backcourt partners teamed up to score all of the Longhorns’ points in a 10-0 surge midway through the second half that put them ahead to stay.
The Longhorns’ second straight rally from a double-digit first-half deficit gave Barnes his fourth win in his last six games in Norman, still a far cry from Stoops’ 54-2 record in the Sooners’ hometown.
“You’ve got to play with the game plan and never lose confidence. That’s what it’s all about,” Abrams said. “You’re going to have a game of runs.”
Texas turned in the decisive run, with Abrams’ jumper from the left wing putting the Longhorns ahead for the first time at 46-44 with 9:41 remaining. He followed that with a 3-pointer from the left corner, and Augustin added a 3 of his own to make it 52-44.
Blake Griffin scored the next five points to get Oklahoma—playing without injured 6-foot-11 forward Longar Longar—within three, but the rest of the Longhorns (18-4, 5-2 Big 12) started pitching in after that.
Justin Mason bracketed a pair of 3-pointers around Connor Atchley’s putback, and Mason’s two free throws in the final minute extended Texas’ lead to its largest point at 62-51.
The Longhorns shot 56 percent in the second half while holding Oklahoma to only 29 percent from the field.
“We got some very good play tonight from our guards, and Justin Mason made some big shots when we needed it,” Barnes said.
Mason matched his career high with three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
Griffin had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Oklahoma (15-7, 3-4), which lost to its Red River rival for the fourth straight time. His brother, Taylor Griffin, added 12 points and 15 rebounds, David Godbold scored 12 points, and Tony Crocker added 11. The foursome provided all of Oklahoma’s scoring.
“We have to be able to score the basketball,” Sooners coach Jeff Capel said. “We held them to under 40 percent shooting. We have to be able to score.”
Oklahoma led 15-5 after Crocker hit three quick 3-pointers, but the Longhorns slowly chipped away until Augustin’s 3-pointer to start the second half got them within one.
Abrams’ 3-pointer from the right wing evened the score at 37 with 14 minutes left. That started a span in which Abrams and Augustin scored the Longhorns’ next 18 points, pushing them into the lead.
“We started out good and then the second half, they made every shot and it seemed like we missed every shot,” Godbold said.
The Longhorns did little to exploit the absence of Longar on the defensive end. Atchley, Damion James and Gary Johnson combined to go 6-for-19 from the forward position, with James managing a season-low two points while coming off the bench for the second straight game. All three ended up with four fouls, and spent the night rotating in against Blake Griffin.
Freshman Clint Chapman made his first career start in place of James, who lost his starting spot after a poor defensive effort in Texas’ loss to Texas A&M two games ago. Chapman played only the first 4 1/2 minutes before sitting out the rest of the game.
The Sooners struggled to their third-lowest point total of the season without Longar, their second-leading scorer.