Saint Joseph's 50

(1-2, 0-1 away)

(6) Texas 68

(3-0, 2-0 home)

3:00 PM ET, November 24, 2008

Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii

1 2 T
JOES 28 2250
#6TEX 37 3168

Top Performers

Saint Joseph's: A. Nivins 14 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Texas: A. Abrams 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Abrams, Texas open EA Sports Maui Invitational with win

Associated Press

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- Texas' latest outstanding defensive effort left coach Rick Barnes complaining about the Longhorns' offense.

A.J. Abrams had 17 points to lead Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) to a 68-50 victory over Saint Joseph's on Monday in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, but the Longhorns committed 16 turnovers and that's what Barnes wanted to talk about.

Fast Facts

• Texas improved to 4-0 all-time vs. Saint Joseph's in the opening game of the Maui Invitational.

• Texas has allowed an average of 46.3 PPG through three games.

• Ahmad Nivins led Saint Joseph's with 14 points and 13 rebounds, his third straight double-double.

-- ESPN research

"We turned it over way too many times. We have to cut that down," he said. "Defensively we gave the effort we wanted and we got good play off the bench, but the turnovers were just careless mistakes. We have got to value the basketball. We're too good a team to score 68 points. We can fix that."

The Longhorns (3-0) will meet No. 8 Notre Dame, which beat Indiana 88-50, in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Abrams was 4-for-7 from 3-point range, extending his strong start from beyond the arc as he was 8-for-17 in Texas' first two games.

The Longhorns had allowed 44.5 points and 28.7 percent field goal shooting while forcing an average of 22 turnovers in their first two wins. No. 3 looked very familiar.

Ahmad Nivins had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Hawks (1-2), who finished 17-for-58 from the field (29.3 percent), including 4-for-21 from 3-point range, and turned it over 18 times.

"This team has been really focused on playing defense, trying to get stops, and that's a good thing," Abrams said. "On offense we just have to slow down and not play at 100 miles an hour. We have to get efficient and get wide-open shots."

Saint Joseph's scored six of the final eight points in the first half to pull within nine, but Damion James had seven points in Texas' 11-2 run to start the second half. Saint Joseph's missed three of its first four shots in the half and had three turnovers in the opening 1:40.

The Hawks scored seven straight to make it 48-37, but they came up empty on their next eight possessions and Texas had its first 20-point lead, 57-37, on a layup by Gary Johnson with 8:55 to play.

"We laced it up and stood toe to toe with a team that in my estimation can be in Detroit in March," Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said, referring to the site of this season's Final Four. "We had too many turnovers from our older guys and the primary ballhandlers and we have to do a better job as we go forward. We weren't good enough and that's all right for today."

James and Johnson both had 14 points for Texas. Johnson led the Longhorns with 10 rebounds.

Darrin Govens added 12 points for the Hawks, who used a matchup zone to try and handle Abrams.

"We recognized it and that made it better for us," Abrams said. "We were playing too fast and guys weren't ready for it. We have to get down to 70, 75 miles per hour and read what the defense is giving us."

This is the Longhorns' third appearance in Maui with their best finish a third in 2004.

The win gave Barnes a 250-93 record in 11 seasons at Texas and he is 452-227 overall.

Shane Victorino of the World Series champion Phillies presented the game ball to officials. The native of Maui, who was home for a charity golf event, received quite a cheer from the fans from Saint Joseph's, which is located in Philadelphia.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 50 68
FG Made-Attempted 17-58 (.293) 24-56 (.429)
3P Made-Attempted 4-21 (.190) 6-14 (.429)
FT Made-Attempted 12-18 (.667) 14-19 (.737)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 22

2008-09 Season

» Nov 24, 2008 @TEX 68, JOES 50Recap