The Longhorn Network had some technical difficulties at the beginning of the telecast. That would foreshadow the rest of the game for both Texas and Oklahoma State.
Both team got off to a slow start for about the first two minutes of the game. Oklahoma State, however, got hot quickly thereafter. Hitting three balls like nobody’s business, and contesting for the 50/50 balls. Mitchell Solomon lived up to his “MVP” status, as tabbed by Mike Boynton. The fans seemed lethargic in their own right. About 15 minutes before tip, OSU’s Dave Hunziker estimated the attendance to be about 2,000. The Frank Erwin Center’s Capacity is well over 16,000. Texas didn’t score a single point at the point of the first media timeout.
Oklahoma State came out with a zone defense, forcing Texas to shoot three-pointers. It worked until about midway through the first half. Then, the Longhorns began hitting threes and cutting the Cowboy lead to just two points. Coming out of the game’s first media timeout, Oklahoma State let their guard down, and perhaps got a little too confident, allowing the Longhorns to cut the Cowboy lead significantly.
A, Dylan Osetkowski, basket gave Texas its first lead of the game, (17-16) at the 10:40 mark of the first half. The back and forth game provided some great entertainment, but Cowboy fans will say that the lead throughout was too close for comfort. Boynton’s energy on the sideline showed his frustration with his team. Oklahoma State had no clear leader on the offensive end, the leading scorer, through the first media timeout, Jeffrey Carroll, scored just seven.
As Texas took a three point lead, Osetkowski got into a fast break, and sprinted down court, only to be met by Cam McGriff, who took a key charge at a key time in the game. While McGriff played tough for Oklahoma State, he picked up two fouls, just ten seconds apart. The Cowboys began to look lethargic on both ends of the floor allowing Texas to maintain a two possession lead.
With exactly one minute remaining in the second half, Boynton called a timeout after a couple of Texas free throws. The play Boynton drew up, gave the ball to Solomon at the left wing for a missed three. Despite the missed bucket, Oklahoma State had the rights to the last shot of the half, and it was a step-back three courtesy of Carroll. The bucket gave the Cowboys much needed momentum going into the locker room.
HALFTIME – Texas 33 Oklahoma State 28
The Pokes continued their momentum from the halftime buzzer by scoring the first point of the half, a McGriff free throw. Shortly after, Lindy Waters hit a deep, right-wing, three ball to put the Cowboys back within one of Texas. Kendall Smtih got into the fast break and scored a layup to take the first Cowboy lead of the first half. Texas head coach, Shaka Smart, answered with an early timeout. Texas was lacking key players in Saturday’s matchup. Andrew Jones – who was recently diagnosed with cancer … Eric Davis sat out of the game for precautionary reasons, regarding allegations of payment made against him … and, Mohamed Bamba, who sports a 7’9 wingspan, sat out the second half because of what LHN’s Lowell Galindo called a “turf-toe like” injury. The loss of players took away offensive opportunities for the Longhorns, and opened up huge holes defensively, to the advantage of the Cowboys. Carroll recorded a monster-dunk, much to the dismay of Texas fans. Even the Longhorn Network credited Carroll with ownership of the Frank Erwin Center.
Oklahoma State’s energy returned to the Erwin Center with a force. Oklahoma State regained its offensive brilliance that they had at the beginning of the game. A couple of sloppy mistakes by OSU kept Texas within striking distance. It wasn’t just Oklahoma State that kept the Longhorns in the game. For much of the season, Texas has had a hard time staying in games down the stretch. A prime example is the game in Stillwater. The Longhorns couldn’t keep up with OSU down the stretch, and OSU won a game that slipped right out of Texas’ hands.
Tavarius Shine and Kendall Smith began making their presence known. Both players were relatively quiet for much of the game. At the 8:58 mark of the first half, Mitchell Solomon recorded his fourth foul of the game, creating an Oklahoma State defensive liability. Solomon’s sharpest thorn in his side, is foul trouble. Solomon has dished out at least three fouls, in each of the last 10 games. The last time he didn’t have three fouls was Bedlam. Solomon had zero fouls in Stillwater’s Bedlam game.
The jacket of Boynton hit the showers for the last four minutes of the game. OSU fans know, that when that jacket leaves, things start to kick into high gear. Smith has been a key free-throw shooter for the Pokes of late. His three makes form the charity line with about 2:00 to go in the game, put the Cowboys back to within one of the Longhorns. Right after those free throws, Carroll sunk a tear drop two, answered by a Matt Coleman two point basket. Smith played hero for the Cowboys again with less than a minute to go. Smart killed the buzz with a timeout with his Longhorns down by one. Smith hit a teardrop of his own to extend the Cowboy lead to a whopping one point. Smart called a timeout with the rights to the last shot of the game. They executed with a basket to stop the clock at 1.2 seconds. Kendall Smith’s full court shot hit the rim, but didn’t go in.
FINAL – Oklahoma State 64 Texas 65
UP NEXT – Oklahoma State travels to Ames, Iowa Tuesday at 6:00 for the penultimate game of the season. The Cowboys won their last meeting with the Cyclones 96-87
Photo via Twitter // @osumbb