The Texas Longhorns lost a heartbreaker on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater, blowing a 12-point lead with under six minutes to go and falling 65-64 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The game began in vintage Texas basketball fashion — that is, the ‘Horns displayed suffocating interior defense and a stagnant offense.
Though Mohamed Bamba and the Texas frontcourt challenged Oklahoma State on the inside, the ‘Horns failed to have productive half-court offensive sets early, especially with point guard Matt Coleman picking up two fouls before the first TV timeout.
Thankfully, the ‘Horns benefitted from Eric Davis Jr. continuing to breakout following his career-high 22-point performance against TCU. Davis knocked down three treys in the process of earning 15 points off the bench in the first half.
Davis’ offensive burst, combined with a highlight dunk from Jericho Sims and two threes from Dylan Osetkowski, helped give Texas the early edge.
With Coleman on the bench for long stretches with foul trouble, however, the Texas offense was far from fluid. The ‘Horns turned the ball over seven times in the half, including an instance where Jericho Sims stepped over the line on an in-bounds violation, and a lazy pass by Osetowski on an in-bounds play leading to an easy steal and layup for Ok. State.
Despite the errors, the ‘Horns were still able to stretch their lead to a game high seven points on a Coleman lay-up in the waning seconds of the half to give Texas the 32-25 edge. Bamba, who was double-teamed by the Cowboys, did not score in the first half.
After being silenced in the first half, Bamba took over to start the second frame. The Harlem product hit a shot in the post, knocked down a top of the key three, and slammed home a put-back dunk as Texas extended its lead to 45-33.
Excellent play by Coleman also aided the ‘Horns, as the ball-handler drove to the lane with authority which resulted in a trip to the foul line and a nice floater.
Oklahoma State cut Texas’ lead to 45-38 after a Jeffrey Carroll mid-range jumper and three-pointer, but the ‘Horns quickly stopped the bleeding.
Jacob Young stepped up with some great second half minutes, knocking down a three and layup to help Texas regain control of the contest as Texas extended its lead back to 12 points.
With under eight minutes to go, Texas was up to a 58-46 lead, but the Cowboys refused to go away.
Oklahoma State scored four straight, taking advantage of three straight Texas turnovers to cut the lead to 58-50.
It was the perfect time for Davis to re-emerge after falling silent for most of the second half. The sharpshooter knocked down his fourth three of the game to give Texas an 11-point lead.
After a Texas stop on defense, another Coleman drive fouled out Oklahoma State big man Mitchell Solomon.
However, Texas could not use this momentum to put away the Cowboys, as in the blink of an eye, OSU went on a 13-0 run to bring the game to take a 63-62. Jeffrey Carroll continued to punish the ‘Horns, scoring 17 points on 7-12 shooting.
Osetowski broke Oklahoma’s run with a floater to give Texas the 64-63 edge, the ninth lead change of the game. Osetowski, however, missed the front end of a one-and-one on the ensuing possession which could’ve stretched Texas’ lead to three.
Matt Coleman seemingly hit a floater with 23 seconds left to give Texas a three point lead, but the Cowboys earned a turnover on the play after Lindy Waters expertly set his feet to take the charge.
After a Jeffrey Carroll missed layup with thirteen seconds to go, Bamba could not secure the rebound and the Cowboys got a second chance, earning a put-back shot by Yankuba Sima with six seconds to go.
With seconds remaining, Texas attempted to drive to the hoop late, but Coleman dribbled the ball off of the back of his foot, leading to an unorganized long three by Young. The ball clanked back iron, and just like that, the game was over.
Turnovers were perhaps the key reason for the Texas loss — the ‘Horns coughed it up 15 times, often leading to easy buckets for the Cowboys.
Up next for the 11-6 ‘Horns is a seemingly must-win home match-up against No. 8 Texas Tech on Wednesday at the Frank Erwin Center. The Red Raiders took down No. 2 West Virginia earlier today.,
Mo Bamba - Bamba notched two blocks, but the freshman clearly altered Oklahoma State’s shots on the inside even more than the stat sheet claims. Bamba didn’t score until there was under 18 minutes left in the game, but he still finished with 11 points nonetheless. He also earned 10 rebounds as well to give him a double-double on the game.
Jericho Sims - Sims doesn’t have much of an offensive toolkit at this point, but the freshman still secured a whopping nine rebounds, had a nice transition dunk, and a nice post layup. Plus he made a free throw, which is always a bonus.
Dylan Osetkowski - Dylan O. had rough day from the field, as he shot 3-12 and also had four turnovers. Though he couldn’t get his shot going besides two early threes, Osetkowski hit a clutch floater late to help give Texas the lead, but missed the front-end of a one-and-one that could’ve extended Texas’ lead to three. He finished with 12 points and nine rebounds (including five offensive boards).
Jase Febres - After his coming out party against Baylor, Febres is looking more comfortable on the court in his new starting role. However, Febres only had one point on a free throw and missed his only three attempt. Saturday was clearly Davis’ day, and it will be interesting to see if Febres will continue to start or if Davis will take his place.
Matt Coleman - “Clifford” is continuing to serve as Texas’ integral game manager. Despite picking up two fouls early, Coleman had some really nice floaters, and finished with nine points and five assists. Coleman is meeting Texas’ expectations, but is certainly prone to making freshman mistakes. He turned the ball over four times, the most costly of which came on a charge with 23 seconds to go.
Eric Davis - Davis wasn’t highly involved in the second half, but was still the player of the game for Texas based on his huge first half alone. Davis had 18 points — 15 which were in the first half — which included four treys and a tough fadeaway jumper. The ‘Horns need Texas to continue to be a force, hopefully in both halves next game.
Jacob Young - The absence of Kerwin Roach and Andrew Jones has given Young the opportunity to become part of the seven man rotation for the ‘Horns. Young was far from spectacular (3-9 FG, 1-2 FT), but had some big second half minutes to finish with eight points.