Men's Basketball downs Chicago State, 92-66
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Chicago State coach Kevin Jones knew all about the size and speed of the Texas Longhorns.
Now he is aware of A.J. Abrams' shooting ability.
The sophomore scored 28 points and made eight 3-pointers to lead No. 21 Texas to a 92-66 win over Chicago State on Friday night in the Austin regional championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
"Scouting report didn't say he could shoot it like that," Jones said. "That kid is so poised. I didn't know he was that type of shooter. He hit 8-of-11 3-pointers, and that is very unheard of."
Abrams expects teams will now pay more attention to him.
"I think teams will have to change their scouting report a little to try and defend me," said Abrams, who averaged 6.4 points last season. "I will be counted on to score more."
Abrams, selected the regional's most valuable player, hit five 3-pointers in the first eight minutes. Freshman Kevin Durant collected his first collegiate double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while classmates D.J. Augustin and Damion James added 13 and 14 points, respectively.
Texas (2-0) will travel to New York to play Michigan State on Nov. 16 in the semifinals.
The Longhorns were outscored 36-28 in the paint and Texas coach Rick Barnes noted that was one of the primary concerns for Texas early on.
"I think we are going to shoot the ball well every night," Barnes said, "and the nights that we can't we have to continue to develop a post game on the other end."
Cam-Ron Clay paced the Cougars (1-1) with 18 points, but Chicago State shot 4-for-21 from behind the arc.
The Longhorns showed their range in the first half as five different players connected from 3-point range. Texas connected on 10 of 16 3-pointers during the first 20 minutes.
Chicago State matched Texas' up-tempo pace and trailed by four with 12:12 left in the half. Clay led the Cougars with 11 first-half points on 5-of-5 shooting. Three others had seven points.
The Longhorns ended the half on a 15-8 spurt to build a 14-point halftime lead.
On defense in the second half: Tonight, we kept the team under 40%. During the second half they shot for 27%. We defended the three pretty well during the second half. They were only 3-for-12. The pace was a little bit slower, but that was because they were holding the ball.
On what this Longhorn team needs to work on once they get in foul trouble: I think our team did a great job, even with me out. That's the good thing about our team - we're versatile.
On A.J. Abrams playing ability (how to stop him in the game): That kid is so poised. He doesn't need but a second to get a shot off. Once again, I just didn't know he was that good of a shooter. We didn't go into the game thinking he was going to be the man, but he definitely came out on fire.