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Cowboys 81, Lazy #6 Horns 60

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The Horns took this one for granted and it showed. Texas (22-4, 10-2) was beaten 81-60 by the eleventh place team in the Big 12, Oklahoma State (14-12, 4-8). This was Texas' worst performance of the season and their worst loss of the season. Duke, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are all tournament teams. OSU will be lucky to make the NIT tournament. Texas came out flat and got run over by a talented but wildly inconsistent Oklahoma State team.

This one hurts. The Horns are likely now out of the running for a number one seed unless the win out and take the conference tournament title. It also hurts in the Big 12 race. The Horns are now tied for the lead with Kansas at 10-2. While Texas played horribly this weekend, KU dominated. Thankfully ABC changed my feed from the blowout Jawhawk game to a competitive UConn/West Virginia game.

I don't want to rip too hard on the Horns but they really did nothing well.

Defense
Texas has held 19 different opponents to under 40% shooting going 19-0 in those contests. OSU shot over 50% from the floor and 44% from behind the three point arc as a team. When we don't defend we lose. We are not good enough on offense to simply outscore our opponents Phoenix Suns style. JamesOn Curry squashed any second half comeback with timely shooting from the perimeter. Curry finished with a game high 22 points and a team high 9 rebounds. Texas also forced only nine turnovers by the Cowboys. OSU guards were quicker to the basket and to lose balls all game long. The guards got to the basket easily against both our man to man and zone defenses. OSU had 32 points in the paint, 12 more than Texas.

Offense
The Horns shot an abysmal 33% as a team. The shooting was particularly ugly from three point land. The Horns hit 5/21 (24%) from behind the arc and at least two of those came in the final minutes when the game was long over. Credit OSU though. While our defense was terrible, theirs was great. They controlled our dribble penetration and limited second chance opportunities. PJ Tucker was 6/11 from the field scoring 12 points but no other starter was anywhere near 50%. Lamarcus Aldridge and Brad Buckman each went 2/7 from the field (9 points each). Neither was dominating on the low blocks. Daniel Gibson was mostly invisible as was Kenton Paulino. DGib hit his first shot, air balled his next (a forced long three), and never got into an offensive flow. Texas suffered from a problem they had at the beginning of the season: standing around on offense in the half court. The Horns also failed to capitalize on the few OSU turnovers. We had 0 fast break points and only 11 points off turnovers.

Rebounding
This was the most disappointing aspect of the game. Rebounding is usually about who wants it more. OSU outrebounded Texas 37-34. That may now seem too significant except the Horns coming into the game were second in the country at +11 boards per game and were averaging 18 more rebounds than their opponents in the last four games. The Cowboys simply wanted the loose ball more.

Before we start writing off the season, it was just one game. It was a road game and it was a unique situation after all that has happened in Stillwater with Eddie Sutton over the last week. And OSU does have talent and has been playing much better than the team that got drubbed by 34 points in Austin. But this better be a wake up call. Texas came out flat. Their defense was lazy. They got outrebounded, outshot, and outplayed. One game is ok. Two in a row would be a problem.

The Horns travel to Kansas State on Wednesday night. If they play like they did at OSU, they will get beat. Texas can't afford to look ahead to Kansas next weekend. This team is too talented to play that poorly again.

--AW--