Texas was winning, but there was still a lot of the same. The Horns led Texas Tech 30-24 at halftime and Damion James had four points (reminiscent of his zero-point first half the previous game, a loss to Oklahoma) and A.J. Abrams was still finding his shot. Forward Gary Johnson was the one carrying Texas and had over a third of Texas’ points.
It all came together after intermission, with James leading the way for Texas in a 71-49 win in Lubbock. The junior G/F finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and no turnovers. He was followed by Johnson, who had 15 and seven, and by guard Justin Mason, who put in 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Abrams finished 3-of-10 from the field but he did manage to find his long-range shooting touch, with all three of those successful attempts coming from beyond the three-point line. Abrams totaled 11 points in the win.
When the dust settled at the end, Texas beat Texas Tech in almost every major category, including rebounds (37-25) , shooting percentage (44.6-34) and free throw percentage (75-46.2). Texas also had only nine turnovers and just three in the second half, compared to 14 by the Red Raiders.
James, Johnson, Mason and Abrams scored all but 12 of Texas’ 71 points, with guard Dogus Balbay and center Matt Hill each contributing six. F/C Connor Atchley had no points, but did contribute three rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
With the win, Texas improved to 13-4 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play. Texas Tech fell to 10-7 and 0-2 in conference. The Longhorns have now won seven of their last eight over Texas Tech.
Texas is off for a week before taking on Texas A&M next Saturday in Austin. Tipoff at the Erwin Center is set for 7:00 p.m.