Texas 83, No. 18 Oklahoma State 54

Monday, February 12th 2007, 6:08 pm

By: News On 6

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Kevin Durant scored 21 points and Texas turned in its best defensive effort of the season for an 83-54 win over No. 18 Oklahoma State on Monday night.

The victory guaranteed the Longhorns (18-7, 8-3) will finish no worse than .500 in conference play and was only their second victory against a Top 25 opponent.

It came against a Cowboys squad that has lost three of its last four and is winless on the road in the Big 12.

D.J. Augustin added 19 points for Texas, and A.J. Abrams, who was 7-17 shooting in the previous four games, scored 17.

Mario Boggan scored 16 to lead Oklahoma State (19-6, 5-5).

In the teams' first matchup last month, the Cowboys won a 105-103 thriller in triple overtime. They barely scored half as many points Monday night as Texas scored 22 points off 16 turnovers and held Oklahoma State to 37 percent shooting.

Durant and Boggan, who each scored 37 points in the first meeting, found it much tougher going in the rematch.

Covered by the Cowboy's Marcus Dove, who fouled out of the first game, Durant had just 5-points in the 1st-half.

Durant and Abrams hit 3-pointers in a 10-3 Texas run that opened up a 31-24 Longhorns lead at halftime.

Abrams hit two more 3-pointers and Durant started a fast break with a steal, then finished a 3-point play as the Longhorns opened up a 53-39 lead with just under 12 minutes to play.

Durant also made up for early shooting struggles in other ways, using his long, skinny arms to snare 12 rebounds and poke the ball away from Oklahoma State guards. He hit a 3-pointer, then followed it with another tough shot and free throw to put Texas up 59-44.

The Longhorns then found the offensive burst to put the game away.

A baseline jumper by Durant and 5-straight points by Damion James stretched the Texas lead to 21. Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton, frustrated by the widening deficit and physical play that saw few fouls called against Texas, was hit with a technical and Abrams made both free throws.

By then, the Longhorns were finding just about any shot they wanted. Even when Durant had a reverse layup blocked, the ball came right back in his hands for an easy putback. Boggan, who had 20 rebounds against the Longhorns last month, finished with three this time.

The Longhorns shot 68 percent in the 2nd-half and all five starters scored in double figures. James and Justin Mason both shot 5 of 6 and finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The win was No. 209 at Texas for Longhorns coach Rick Barnes, breaking the school record of 208 held by Tom Penders (1989-98.)

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