AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Texas to a 76-66 win over surprisingly pesky Centenary on Thursday night.
Texas (9-3) led by 21 early in the second half, only to watch the Gents (5-8) cut the deficit in half and stay with the taller and bigger Longhorns for most of the game.
Tyrone Hamilton scored 22 points to lead Centenary, which had lost the last two matchups with Texas by at least 35 points.
A.J. Abrams added 13 points for the Longhorns, who shot just 38 percent and committed 16 turnovers that Centenary turned into 20 points. Durant's 17 rebounds tied the Texas freshman record.
A rash of Texas turnovers -- 11 in the first half -- and poor shooting kept the Longhorns from putting the game away early.
Texas led 20-18 before the Longhorns looked like they would pull away with a 13-2 run that included three 3-pointers by Durant, D.J. Augustin and Justin Mason. Texas led 42-29 at halftime.
Durant hit another 3-pointer and Abrams hit two more in the opening minutes of the second half as the Longhorns built the lead to 56-35. But the Gents continued to force turnovers and three straight 3-pointers by Hamilton quickly shaved the lead down to 13.
When Hamilton struck again from long range and Chase Adams made two free throws, the Gents had pulled within 61-51 with nine minutes to play.
Durant finally put the Gents away late with a dunk and a layup that pushed the lead back to 73-58.
Texas, which shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Kansas last season, hosts Texas-Arlington on Jan. 2 before starting league play Jan. 6 at Colorado.
· Rick Barnes won his 200th game as head coach at the University of Texas. He became just the second coach in school history to reach the plateau and now stands just nine wins shy of becoming the winningest coach in UT history.
· Kevin Durant logged his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
· Kevin Durant's 17 equaled a UT freshman record. The record was set by LaSalle Thompson against SMU during the 1979-80 season. Thompson equaled the feat later in the season against Houston and Chris Mihm duplicated the effort against Texas Tech during the 1997-98 campaign.
· Kevin Durant has reached the 20-point plateau in 10 of his 12 games this season and the freshman has tallied double digits in the scoring column in every game.
· Texas owned a 45-30 advantage in rebounding. It marked the fourth time on the season that the Longhorns owned at least a +15 rebounding margin.
· Texas has started the season with a 7-0 record at the Erwin Center for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
· Texas has posted a 60-6 (.909) mark in non-conference home games during the Rick Barnes era. The Horns have won 53 of their last 55 non-conference home contests.
· Texas has registered a 94-8 (.922) record in home games against unranked (AP) opponents during the Rick Barnes era. The Horns have won 55 of their last 57 home contests against unranked opponents.
· The Longhorns posted their 18th straight road win and are 66-4 (.943) at the Erwin Center over the last five seasons.
· Craig Winder equaled a career-high for assists with three. He recorded three assists earlier this season against Alcorn State opener.
· Justin Mason has recorded at least four assists in each of the last three games and is averaging 5.3 assists per game over the span.
· Mason equaled a career high with his three 3-pointers. He accomplished the feat on two other occasions.
· A.J. Abrams has made at least three 3-pointers in 10 of the first 12 games.
· Texas has had at least one player log at least 20 points in game every game this season.
· Texas has had at least one player log at least 10 rebounds for the fifth consecutive contest and the ninth time on the year.
· Texas has made at least seven 3-pointers in 10 of their first 12 games.
· The seven freshmen combined to log 52 of the 76 points (68.4%), 32 of the 42 rebounds (76.2%) and 13 of the 17 assists (76.5%).
CENTENARY POSTGAME QUOTES
Rob Flaska, Head Coach
On his team's effort against Texas: I thought we put up a good effort tonight. We knew that Texas was very talented and we were worried about their size. I feel like size was the difference in the game tonight, with Texas out-rebounding us 45-to-30. Getting out-rebounded has been a problem for us all year, but I think our effort tonight was tremendous. Fortunately we were able to keep the margin respectable and keep Texas on their heels a little bit.
On taking advantage of Texas in transition: Texas is very good in the full-court offensively, however, we were able to take advantage of their full court defense where they are not as good. We thought that with us being a smaller team, we needed to try to take advantage of some of the problems Texas has had this season in transition.
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
Rick Barnes, Head Coach
On Texas' effort: I wasn't surprised we were a little bit sluggish. We put a lot of time on the court the day after Christmas. I don't think it (the Tennessee game) had anything to do with it.
On Texas' turnovers: We talked a lot about playing hard on the defensive end, but tonight we didn't even make a conscious effort for the most part to play hard on the offensive end. You can call it immaturity or whatever you want to call it. We just did not put two parts of the game together.
On Kevin Durant's performance: He understood he made a number of mistakes in the Tennessee game. We addressed them and talked about them, and he came out tonight and made a real conscious effort to stand in his (defensive) stance and do the things we needed him to do. He had 17 rebounds.
Kevin Durant, Freshman Forward
On Coach Barnes' postgame comments to the team: He said he was going to watch the tape and see how we did. From his standpoint, we played hard on defense, but we just couldn't hit shots. I think we started out two-for-12. We just needed to convert on the offensive end. We played hard on the defensive end.
On turning the ball over: Coach Barnes said we were having too many people in the frontcourt trying to trap, and a couple of people were in the backcourt for easy lay-ups. We just have to work on that in practice and get it right.
A.J. Abrams, Sophomore Guard
On whether the team had a problem focusing on the game: I don't think so. We had some careless turnovers that we usually don't have. Our main focus was to get better on the defensive end. I think our guys focused on defense a little harder and didn't focus as much on the offensive end as much as we should have. We've got to equal it out and play as hard on defense as we do on offense.
On the team's preparation for the game: We had our usual stuff, our pre-game preparation and shoot-around. We didn't do anything unusual. We had practice yesterday and the day before yesterday.