AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 21 points and grabbed
17 rebounds to lead Texas to a 76-66 win over surprisingly pesky
Centenary on Thursday night.
Texas (9-3) led by 21 early in the second half, only to watch
the Gents (5-8) cut the deficit in half and stay with the taller
and bigger Longhorns for most of the game.
Tyrone Hamilton scored 22 points to lead Centenary, which had
lost the last two matchups with Texas by at least 35 points.
A.J. Abrams added 13 points for the Longhorns, who shot just 38
percent and committed 16 turnovers that Centenary turned into 20
points. Durant's 17 rebounds tied the Texas freshman record.
A rash of Texas turnovers -- 11 in the first half -- and poor
shooting kept the Longhorns from putting the game away early.
Texas led 20-18 before the Longhorns looked like they would pull
away with a 13-2 run that included three 3-pointers by Durant, D.J.
Augustin and Justin Mason. Texas led 42-29 at halftime.
Durant hit another 3-pointer and Abrams hit two more in the
opening minutes of the second half as the Longhorns built the lead
to 56-35. But the Gents continued to force turnovers and three
straight 3-pointers by Hamilton quickly shaved the lead down to 13.
When Hamilton struck again from long range and Chase Adams made
two free throws, the Gents had pulled within 61-51 with nine
minutes to play.
Durant finally put the Gents away late with a dunk and a layup
that pushed the lead back to 73-58.
Texas, which shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Kansas
last season, hosts Texas-Arlington on Jan. 2 before starting league
play Jan. 6 at Colorado.