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Jefferson's 19 In The Second Half Lead Arizona Over Texas

AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Richard Jefferson scored 19 points - all in the second half - as No. 4 Arizona beat No. 9 Texas 88-81 Saturday night.

After Texas fought back from a 10-point deficit in the second half to tie it at 66, Jefferson scored eight consecutive points, including two 3-pointers, to help Arizona take a 74-68 lead with 1:29 left.

Texas (4-1) cut the lead to 83-81 on Chris McColpin's 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds left, but Luke Walton and freshman guard Gilbert Arenas went 5-of-6 from the foul line in the final seconds to preserve the win for Arizona (6-0).

Freshman point guard Jason Gardner had 18 points and five assists for the Wildcats, while Michael Wright had 16 points and 13 rebounds

Chris Owens led Texas with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Center Chris Mihm scored 18 points, including 14 in the second half, but was held to just five rebounds _ snapping his streak of nine consecutive double-doubles dating back to last season.

Arizona made 14 of 18 free throws over the final 1:09 and held Texas to 39 percent shooting for the game. The Wildcats have held every opponent this season under 40 percent.

Mihm, struggling with a badly bruised shin, played just nine minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

Arizona took it right at Mihm from the opening tipoff when Loren Woods won the tip and Jefferson lobbed it in to Arenas for an easy basket.

Arenas challenged Mihm again five minutes later with a drive down the lane that drew Mihm's second foul. The early foul trouble sent the anchor of Texas' front line to the bench for 11 minutes of the first half.

Arizona couldn't take full advantage of the opening in the middle, however, even as the Wildcats shot 46 percent in the first half.

Texas shot just 33 percent in the first half, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range, but took 13 more shots than Arizona as the Wildcats gave up 13 turnovers.

Texas led 27-18 in the first half on Gabe Muoneke's three-point play before Arizona closed to 31-29 at halftime on Gardner's 3-pointer and six points from Rick Anderson.

Arizona opened the second half with a 16-4 run for a 45-35 lead. Gardner and Arenas hit 3-pointers and Jefferson had four points in the spurt.

Texas fought back behind Mihm, who didn't pick up a foul in second half and was allowed to attack the basket more.

Texas, ranked in the Top Ten for the first time since 1982, was playing its first game since beating No. 8 Michigan State 81-74 in the Puerto Rico Shootout a week ago. The Longhorns have never won two straight over Top Ten opponents.

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