Oklahoma Sooners guard Elijah Harkless missed a desperation three at the buzzer as the No. 20 Texas Longhorns narrowly pulled out an overtime rivalry win in Norman on Tuesday evening thanks to big performances in the extra period by senior guard Marcus Carr and senior forward Timmy Allen.
Allen scored a game-high 20 points, combining with Carr to score 14 of the 16 points by the Longhorns in overtime and setting up the other basket, a layup by senior forward Christian Bishop, who added 16 points, one short of his season high. Bishop finished plus-15 in the game despite battling foul trouble throughout.
Over the final five minutes, Allen and Carr took turns making plays for Texas. Carr hit one field goal in overtime and made 4-of-6 free throws, with Allen cleaning up both of his misses on the offensive glass — the senior known for his off-ball cuts wasn’t moving to receive passes, just to follow up on Carr’s errant shots.
Harkless nearly helped Oklahoma pull out a much-needed victory with eight of the 12 points by the Sooners in overtime, but couldn’t come up with the final basket. The senior guard finished with 19 points, creating many of them from his five steals as he harassed Texas guards and then scored in transition, superb defensive plays that arguably enabled the 66-66 tie by Oklahoma at the end of regulation.
Likewise, the Horns made it to overtime thanks to the contributions of senior guard Andrew Jones, who has been phenomenal against the Sooners throughout his long career in burnt orange and white.
On Tuesday, Jones wasn’t always perfect, missing his first four field-goal attempts after halftime and turning the ball over three times in the second half, including on a potential go-ahead play late in the second half when he was called for traveling going at Harkless.
But Jones did make a number of key plays throughout the game, hitting a three on a defensive bust by the Sooners and cutting off the ball for an important layup during a 15-3 run by the Longhorns in the second half.
a lil bit more give and go on a Tuesday pic.twitter.com/GiKoh41UmX— #20 Texas Men's Basketball (@TexasMBB) February 16, 2022
Jones finished with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and hit 4-of-5 attempts from three-point range, the only makes from behind the arc for Texas in the contest.
Between the first and second media timeouts, Texas made five straight field goals to take a 17-11 lead on a difficult jumper by Carr late in the shot clock despite slipping. The Longhorns quickly followed by failing to hit another field goal for more than four minutes as both teams went cold from the field — the Sooners eventually went more than six minutes without a made basket.
Texas wasn’t able to take advantage with Oklahoma in the bonus and held a 26-23 lead at the final media timeout of the half despite a significant advantage in shooting percentage because the Longhorns weren’t able to secure second-chance opportunities, weren’t taking or making threes, and only forced three turnovers.
The offensive difficulties and a 31-29 lead at halftime stemmed in part from foul trouble —Allen only played eight minutes in the first half and Carr and senior guard Courtney Ramey managed 12 minutes.
The second half quickly devolved into a host of whistles as Texas started 1-of-6 shooting out of halftime as Oklahoma took five free throws by the under-16 timeout. By the end of regulation, the officials had called 19 fouls in the second half leading to 13 free throws by the Sooners and 11 by the Longhorns.
Despite the crucial 15-3 run midway through the second half, Texas wasn’t able to close out the game, allowing Oklahoma to close out the game on a 9-3 run.
With a 6-2 record in the last eight games, the Longhorns return to the Erwin Center on Saturday for a grudge match against the Red Raiders looking to reverse the trend of let downs following big wins.