No. 25 Texas Pushes Past TTU-87-81

Damion James had 20 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double and No. 25 Texas beat Texas Tech 87-81 on Wednesday night.

A.J. Abrams scored 24 points for the Longhorns (19-8, 8-5 Big 12), who have won four of their last five after a three-game losing streak.

Nick Okorie scored 24 points to lead Texas Tech (12-16, 2-11), which played without head coach Pat Knight, who was suspended by the Big 12 for one game after criticizing the officiating in the Red Raiders' previous loss. Tech has lost nine of its last 10 games.

Associate head coach Chris Beard filled in for Knight and had the Red Raiders in position to pull off the upset. The Red Raiders led at halftime and even when the Longhorns went ahead, Tech stayed within striking distance all the way to the end.

Texas Tech made six 3-pointers and shot 56 percent to take a 43-38 lead into halftime.

The Longhorns took the lead early in the second half behind a 14-7 run keyed by point guard Dogus Balbay. The native of Turkey, who is usually Texas' fifth option to score, had six points in the run, slashing through the Tech defense for layups, including a drive straight down the lane for a 51-50 lead.

The Red Raiders wouldn't allow the Longhorns to make a run to put the game away. Texas built a 64-58 lead only to watch the Red Raiders scratch back and pull even with a 6-0 run. When Abrams swished his fourth 3-pointer, Okorie answered with one and Mike Singletary's two free throws kept Tech within 75-73 with 4 minutes left.

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What Texas Tech couldn't do was keep Texas off the free throw line. The Longhorns went 31-of-43 and were led by James, who was 12-of-15.

At halftime, Texas retired the No. 35 jersey of former Longhorn Kevin Durant, who spend only one season at Texas but was the national player of the year as a freshman in 2006-07.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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