Texas Opens Big 12 Play with a Win

The Longhorns began Big 12 Conference Play with a bang, beating Colorado 102-78. Freshman forward Kevin Durant had another dominant performance, putting in 37 points and grabbing 16 boards in the Texas victory.

Kevin Durant, who had at least 20 points in 11 of Texas' first 13 game, had 21 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 37 in Texas' (11-3) 102-78 win over Colordao (4-7). Texas head coach Rick Barnes has not lost a Big 12 opener since he arrived in Austin, improving to 9-0.

The Longhorns opened the game with a 6-0 run, but Colorado quickly got their act together, fighting back and tying the game up at 12 five minutes in. It remained a tight contest for most of the first half.

With Texas trailing 29-33, Durant streaked down the court off a steal and put in a monster dunk while being fouled. Durant made the free throw to narrow the Colorado lead to one and extending his point total to 16. A free throw from Matt Hill tied the game up at 33 and a tip-in off his miss of the second free throw gave Texas a 35-33 lead.

The back-and-forth battle continued, but the Longhorns' 16-8 run gave the Horns a 45-41 lead with 3:30 to play in the first half. Colorado stuck with Texas the rest of the way through the first period, preventing the Horns from extending their lead. Texas held a 51-48 going into halftime.

Texas opened the scoring in the second half on a put-back from Durant. The next points came on an A.J. Abrams steal. The sophomore passed the ball to D.J. Augustin, who threw a behind the back pass back to Abrams who buried the three, giving Texas a 56-48 lead.

Colorado got their first points of the second half with 17:23 to go in the game on a Dominique Coleman lay-up, but Texas quickly scored again on a Damion James dunk to hold a 58-50 advantage. James, Augustin and Abrams all finished with 15 points in the game.

Then, it was all Texas.

The Horns cruised out to their largest lead of the game, taking a 78-62 advantage on another Augustin to Abrams three. An Abrams steal and break-away lay-up extended the lead to 18. The Texas domination continued and was then accented by a Durant ally-oop dunk over a defender with 8:01 remaining in the game, extending the Texas lead even further to 88-66. Texas easily held on for the 102-78 win.

It was also an impressive game for Colorado guard Richard Roby, who had 30 points in the loss, but was overshadowed by Durant and the Longhorns.

The Horns' next game is at home against Missouri on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

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