Owens, Ivey pace Texas in 79-52 win over WSU

<B>Chris Owens</B> and <B>Royal Ivey</B> didn't miss. Washington State missed a lot (of shots and players). That combination led to an easy 79-52 win for the Horns over the short-handed Cougars Monday night.

Owens hit all eight of his field goal attempts to finish with a game-high 19 points and Ivey nailed six-of-six to help Texas reel off a 22-2 run in the first half and a 23-4 run in the second half to run WSU out of the Erwin Center.

"What can you do," Cougar head coach Paul Graham asked. "(Owens) is a very good player. He's a pro. He's tough. He's physical. He could play anywhere in the country and Rick (Barnes) is lucky to have him."

Barnes agreed, but the Texas head coach still saw room for improvement.

"Offensively he was real good but I still want him to rebound more," he said. "I thought he stayed within the offense and he got good looks. His teammates also did a good job of getting him the ball."

"It goes back to shot selection and discipline," Barnes added. "We've talked about turning down good shots for great shots. If he stays within what we're doing he's gonna get some good looks at it."

"I just tried to relax and let the game come to me," CO said post-game. "As long as you're taking good shots, you can't worry about the percentage. That's what I did."

"In the beginning of the season I was trying to rush things too much and tonight I relaxed and let it come to me," Owens continued. "When you're feeling it, you're feeling it."

Ivey felt it as well, totaling 13 points on his bull's eye shooting. Brandon Mouton added 11 and Sydmill Harris poured in 10. T.J. Ford finished with six points and six assists in 27 minutes.

The Horns jumped to an early 22-7 lead with a 15-zip burst largely powered by the sweet shooting of Owens. The senior forward scored 13 points by hitting all six of his field goal attempts, including a top of the key three, over the game's first seven-and-a-half minutes and finished the half with 16 points on a perfect seven-of-seven from the field. The Horns pushed the lead to as many as 21 points in the first half before the Cougars cut the lead to 17 at the break.

Texas, though, opened the second half by scoring on 12 of its first 17 possessions to more than double Washington State's scoreboard total midway through the final period at 65-31.

The Cougars played without normal starters Milton Riley (due to injury) and Mike Bush (due to a class presentation). Coming in, the two combined to average 15 of WSU's 81.8 points per game. The Horns held the now 4-3 Cougars to 34.5-percent from the field and almost 30 points below their season scoring average.

Texas climbed above the .500 mark for the first time all season, improving to 4-3 overall and 3-1 vs. teams from the Pac-10. "Even though we're 4-3 overall we are tied for first in the Pac-10 right now," the UT coach joked post-game. The Horns also moved to 3-0 on the season (and 28-1 in Barnes' four years at Texas) when shooting over 50-percent from the field. UT knocked down 56.3-percent of its attempts, including 43.5-percent from beyond the arc.

Ten different Longhorns played 11-plus minutes each with all 10 scratching the scoring column. Terrell Ross, who will be counted on for some back-up minutes at the point later in the season, saw his most extended action of the year, playing 15 minutes.

"I think we have more weapons this year," Ivey said when asked to compare this year's team and last's. "We're not really relying on people to score 18, 19 points. Everybody can do it."

"We're definitely a better ballclub (than at this time last season)," Owens said. "That's part of the makeup of this team. There's so much talent across the board and everybody is playing their role."

Texas will look to stay on a roll Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Drum vs. Jacksonville.


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