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Augustin, Texas overcome slow starts to topple Texas State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- His team had rolled up 96 points and
improved to 10-0. Yet all Texas coach Rick Barnes wanted to talk
about was how badly the Longhorns (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) played defense.

Too many times, Texas State blew past Texas guards on drives to
the basket for close shots or kicked the ball out for wide-open
3-pointers.

Eventually, Texas' overall talent won out and carried the
Longhorns to a 96-81 victory, but Barnes made it clear that more
performances like that and his team won't be undefeated for long.

"It's the defense where we just weren't solid. Some guys didn't
do the job they needed to do," Barnes said.

To force his point, Texas stayed in man-to-man defense the
entire game and played no zone that might have stopped some of the
dribble penetration by Bobcats guards.

"I told them that this is what we need. I just don't think they
handled it very well," Barnes said. "I don't think we got better,
and that's what disappointed me."

The bright spot was Connor Atchley's 26 points and 10 rebounds.
D.J. Augustin overcame a 1-of-7 shooting start to score 24 points
and A.J. Abrams scored 20.

Atchley was 9-of-11 shooting and his 14 points in the first half
helped dig the Longhorns out of an early deficit. His 3-pointers in
the second provided the big shots when the Longhorns needed them.

Texas State had cut a 20-point Texas lead to 11 when Atchley
buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with just under three
minutes to play.

"Connor is the only guy who actually did a pretty good job,"
Barnes said.

Texas State (5-4) used a rotation of 13 players to keep fresh
bodies on the court and constant pressure on Augustin when he
handled the ball.

It worked when Augustin tired near the end, but by then the
Bobcats' early lead had disappeared and it was too late to rally
for a possible upset.

Playing their first game in a week, the Longhorns got off to a
sloppy start with three quick turnovers and misfires on several
open looks. The Longhorns missed eight of their first nine
3-pointers and didn't take their first lead, 16-15, until midway
through the first half.

Texas State led for much of the first half and kept it close by
hitting six 3-pointers and driving for close shots.

"We knew they were going to push at us and they have some great
guards," Augustin said. "We still have a lot of work to do."

Atchley finished the half with a flurry, scoring 14 points over
the final 10 minutes to help Texas take a 42-40 lead into the
break.

Texas seemed ready to seize control with a 14-6 run that opened
up a 56-46 lead when Atchley hit a 3-pointer. Augustin hit two
tough shots off spinning drives in the lane to build the lead to
64-50.

The Bobcats rallied to cut it to six on Corey Jefferson's short
jumper before they started to miss the shots that were falling in
the first half. Texas also started stretching its lead from the
free throw line, hitting 22 of 30 free throws in the second half.

"We really played and competed with the belief we should win
the basketball game," Texas State coach Doug Davalos said. "The
second half, there was a run that knocked us back."

Augustin scored seven straight points and Atchley hit another
3-pointer from deep in the left corner to make it 76-62. When
Abrams hit a 3-pointer from right side and Atchley followed it with
a 3-point play after a tough putback, the Longhorns led 86-65.

"Connor keeps getting better every day," Augustin said. "He's
done everything for us."

Brent Benson scored 15 points for Texas State.