Men's Basketball tops Xavier (La.), 103-53, in exhibition
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore guard A.J. Abrams posted a game-high 24 points to lead No. 21 Texas to a 103-53 victory against Xavier University (La.) in the Longhorns' final exhibition game Monday night before 3,352 fans at the Frank Erwin Center. Xavier (La.) is an NAIA school in New Orleans.
Abrams, who hit 6-of-7 from three-point range and added four assists against just one turnover, was one of four Longhorns to reach double figures in scoring. Freshman swingman Damion James recorded 15 points and five rebounds. Freshman swingman Kevin Durant tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals, and freshman Matt Hill added 10 points and four boards.
"Tonight we did a pretty good job of addressing the things we talked about after the game against Lenoir-Rhyne," Barnes said. "Rebounding was one of the things we talked about, and tonight we swarmed the boards. I think our post defense improved from the last game, and that was another thing we had talked about."
Texas jumped out to a 9-3 advantage following a Durant layup at the 16:35 mark, but Xavier answered with a 6-0 spurt to tie the contest at 9-9 after three free throws from Mark Stewart with 16:02 left. The Gold Rush kept the score tight for the opening 10 minutes and trailed by four (27-23) at the 9:23 mark. An Abrams three-pointer with 9:13 left started an 8-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 35-23 at the 8:27 mark. The Horns then closed the half on a 17-2 run to increase their advantage to 52-27 at the break.
Leading 66-38 at the 13:52 mark, Texas used a Hill layup to spark a 16-3 run over the next seven minutes to extend its advantage to 41 points (82-41) with 9:54 remaining. The margin eventually reached 55 (103-48) at the 1:29 mark following a Harrison Smith layup. All 12 roster players for the Longhorns scored at least two points during the win.
Freshman guard D.J. Augustin contributed nine points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Justin Mason tallied seven points and six assists without a turnover, and freshman center Dexter Pittman added seven points and five boards. Stewart paced Xavier with 13 points off the bench, while Alfred Williams registered 11 points.
UT recorded a 49-27 advantage on the boards, including a 24-8 margin on the offensive glass. The Longhorns posted a 22-to-11 assist-to-turnover ratio and held Xavier to 37.5% field goal shooting. Texas also registered a 38-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
Texas opens the 2006-07 regular season with a home tilt against Alcorn State in the opening round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer on Thursday, Nov. 9. Tip is set for 8:30 p.m. at the Erwin Center.
XAVIER POSTGAME QUOTES
On the Texas defense played with a young team: Having such a young team, it is very surprising the kind of defense that they play. They play with big hands and they all have long arms... they get their hands in the passing lane a lot. At times we think we have the angle on a pass and that gap closes very quickly and disrupts our passing.
On difference of level playing teams like Texas: The difference between our level and this level is the kind of physical play in the game. Tonight's match-up was extremely physical and I think our guys battled hard and fought through screens.
On what could improve from tonight's game: At times we turned the ball over too much... we had a couple of guys just get the ball taken from them and a couple of passes just got tipped away which we should've made.
On Kevin Durant's performance: I think Kevin improved a lot tonight defensively from playing Lenoir-Rhyne... but it all started in practice and I think he learned a lot from the tape, and he really made an effort tonight using his length and getting a bunch of deflections.
Damion James, Freshman Forward/Guard
A.J. Adams, Sophomore Guard
On tonight's game Texas vs. Xavier: Tonight I believe we played very aggressively. We really got in the passing lanes as well.