Augustin and the Horns Roll UNT

After Texas put up a historic win over No. 1 UCLA at Pauly Pavilion, there was still no overlooking North Texas as D.J. Augustin dropped 29 points and 10 assists to lead UT over the visiting Mean Green, 88-72.

After toppling the No. 1 team in the land, Texas was primed for a letdown taking on the surprising Mean Green of North Texas, led by hot-shooting guard Josh White.

Rick Barnes would have none of it.

"We sat down in after practice last night, our meeting usually lasts about 45 minutes, it lasted for two hours because we watched the defense in entire UCLA game," said Barnes. "When we got through with that meeting, D.J. (Augustin) said 'I thought we'd lost by 20'. You can't live a lie...Our whole theme this year is get better every game we play."

No. 4 Texas (8-0) beat North Texas (5-2) 88-72 at the Erwin Center on Wednesday night as Augustin turned his focus on improvement into a 29-point, 10-assit night.

"He's an unbelievable player," said White, who battled Augustin throughout the night. "He makes his teammates better and he score with the ball, which takes a lot of pressure off his teammates."

In was the sixth time in Augustin's career he registered over 10 assists. He also had the hot shooting hand, hitting 9-of-14 shots from the field. Driving through the lane, Augustin managed to get to the line again and again, hitting 11-of-12 free throws against the Mean Green.

"He just has a great feel and he controlled the last 25 minutes of the game," said Barnes. "When people try to start denying Justin Mason or A.J. Abrams, it opens up the floor and when the floor opens up, his eyes light up."

Augustin was not available for comment because he suffered a cut under his left eye after taking an elbow to the face in the first half. He returned to action immediately after a bandage was placed over the cut and he received three stitches after the game. The injury will not keep Augustin out of future action.

It was a big night for the Texas guards. Abrams followed suit with 23 points, going 9-of-19 from the field. Damion James was the most dominant presence in the post for Texas and had his seventh double-double of his career and his third of this season, putting up 12 and 10.

White, the, officially, 5-10 freshman (he's 5-10 if he's standing on a couple dictionaries) from Baton Rouge did what he could to keep his team in the game and once again led North Texas with 28 points. White was deadly from behind the arc, hitting 6-of-9 from three-point range.

To start the game, though, it was all Texas. The Horns jumped out to a 17-3 lead, controlling every phase of the game.

"You can't fall behind on a great basketball team like that," said White. "We fell into a hole and we couldn't come back."

UNT finally pulled into double digits with 7:52 to go in the first half when White hit a three over Dexter Pittman and was fouled in the process. White missed the free throw and Texas still held a 29-11 advantage.

Later in the first half things started to get ugly. Augustin tried to clear out the Mean Green's Tristan Thompson and Thompson jumped over Augustin's back as the Texas point guard pushed backward. Thompson was whistled for the foul and UNT head coach Johnny Jones did not like the call. Jones continued to scream at the officials until he was finally assessed a technical foul, giving Augustin four shots, including the original foul. The Texas point guard drained all four and the Horns were up 41-20.

The game continued to get uglier as Texas forward Alexis Wangmene fell to the floor clutching his face after a collision with Harold Stewart. Stewart was called for an intentional and Wangmene hit both of his free throws. Texas made the most of the first-half scrapes and was 19-of-24 (79.2 percent) from the charity stripe on the night. UNT was 10-of-15 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).

Texas continued to dominate the game and in the waning seconds of the first half, Augustin drove into the lane, spun and hit a jumper as time expired. Texas went into the break with a very comfortable 48-26 lead.

The Texas scoring sputtered a bit to start the second half as the Horns committed four quick fouls, but UT maintained a solid 20-point lead on the visitors for most of the second frame. UNT, however, would not be denied a run.

North Texas crept back and yet another three from White took it to 64-51. UNT brought it within nine on a pair of inside shots and Texas was losing grip on the game.

"The big thing is that our guys don't have any quit in them," said Jones. "We continued to play and I though our guys realized that they were down and they had to come out with more energy."

James got the Texas scoring going again and took it back out to a double-digit lead, 66-55, on a jumper. A pair of jumpers, from Augustin and Abrams, extended the Texas lead and the Longhorns never looked back. With 2:54 to go, Abrams a three, his first of the second half, and Texas retook a 20-point advantage, 86-66.

After the game, Jones said he was impressed with the way Texas took it to his UNT squad.

"Sitting there, No. 4 in the country, they played like the great basketball team that they are," said Jones.

There's a lot of hype around the Horns with such a high national ranking and Abrams reiterated the team's desire not to suffer a disappointing loss.

"We knew we had a big win in Los Angeles, so we wanted to come out here and not have a let-down," said Abrams. "Today's win is a good win for us."

Texas travels to Houston this weekend to take on the Rice Owls at the Toyota Center. Tip-off is on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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