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UT makes one field goal over final 12 minutes

12/31/2002

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas got coach Rick Barnes' 300th career
win in the worst way.

The Longhorns (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) made just one field goal over the final 12
minutes Monday night. They shot 3-for-20 on 3-pointers after the
first four minutes and got outrebounded by Louisiana Tech 39-31.

Still, Texas escaped with a 58-50 win on its home floor for
Barnes' milestone victory. He is 300-179 in 16 seasons.

"It doesn't mean anything to me," Barnes said of 300.
"Compared to a lot of guys in this league, I'm just a pup."

Brandon Mouton scored 16 points for Texas (8-2) which struggled
through its second consecutive lethargic outing. Texas survived a
57-54 scare from Princeton a week earlier.

The Longhorns were just 5-of-21 in the second half. Texas kept
its lead with 10-of-14 shooting from the foul line over the final
10 minutes.

"I think we're just confused as individuals," said Texas point
guard T.J. Ford, who had 11 points and five assists, but also
committed four turnovers in a 2-of-9 shooting night.

"I don't think anybody understands what they're supposed to
do," Ford said.

Barnes can see the confusion.

"We're posting up when there's no need to post up. We're not
posting up when we need to," he said. "I think what they're
confused about is all five guys are not doing their job."

Part of the problem was foul trouble. Texas' leading rebounder,
James Thomas, finished with a game-high 10 boards but spent 20
minutes on the bench in foul trouble. Texas had outrebounded eight
of its first nine opponents.

Texas looked to make easy work of the Bulldogs when the
Longhorns bolted to an 11-0 lead behind Mouton's three 3-pointers.
But Barnes subbed out Mouton less than a minute later, and the
shots stopped falling shortly thereafter. Texas went 2-of-10 from
the arc the rest of the half.

Louisiana Tech (3-4) steadily worked its way back by
outrebounding Texas 21-12 in the first half, and tied it at 29 when
Darrian Brown hit the second of consecutive 3-pointers. Brown led
the Bulldogs with 13 points but didn't score over the final 16
minutes.

"I think with the early lead we might have relaxed a little bit
and thought the game was going to be a walk," said Mouton, who hit
only one field goal after his early flurry.

"We have to know every team is going to try to knock us out,"
Mouton said.

Texas led 34-29 at halftime on Brian Boddicker's 3-pointer with
57 seconds left.

Boddicker, who finished with 10 points, hit another key
3-pointer that made it 44-34 with 12:57 left in the game. Royal
Ivey's short jumper with 12:19 left gave Texas a 12-point lead, but
the Longhorns wouldn't make another field goal until Thomas' layup
9 minutes later.

Tech had cut it to 46-40 before Zach Johnson was called for a
foul and was then hit with a technical for complaining about it.
Ford then hit three of four free throws to swing momentum back to
Texas as Johnson fouled out.

"That's our third top 25 team we played this year," said
Louisiana Tech coach Keith Richard. "The concern coming is is that
you get beat down so much you lose your team before you go into
conference. The thing we got out of here is that we came out with
our head held high.""