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Quick thoughts from Texas’ 60-47 Big 12 Tournament win over Oklahoma State

Every win in March is significant, but Texas will need to play much better to keep winning.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 Big 12 Tournament - Oklahoma State at Texas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Texas Longhorns started slow, finished even slower, but completely dominated between those woes to build and mostly maintain a double-digit lead en route to a 60-47 Big 12 Tournament win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Here are a few quick thoughts from Texas’ quarterfinal win.

Texas won, but starting slow and finishing sloppy isn’t a recipe for success . It was some especially ugly offense from the Longhorns in the early going, with Texas suffering a stretch of more than seven minutes without a field goal. In the opening minutes, Texas just couldn’t find much of a flow or sync offensively, which was a bit to be expected with forward Timmy Allen sidelined with a leg injury (day-to-day). Then things just clicked to begin the second half and Texas’ lead ballooned to 17, which proved to be enough for the Horns to maintain control when they got a bit sloppy and stopped scoring late. The Longhorns sank just three — yes, 3 — field goals in the final 12:36 of action, with one of those being an unnecessary last-second jumper from Marcus Carr, and Texas turned the ball over six times during that stretch. It was just a remarkably sloppy stretch of basketball that opened the door a bit for Oklahoma State, and had it not been for some favorable whistles for the Longhorns, OSU might have made this interesting. Every win in March matters, but Texas left a lot on the floor tonight.

Texas needs Marcus Carr to get going, and fast. March is the worst possible time to fall into a scoring slump, but that’s exactly where Carr finds himself right now. He was just 9-35 overall and 4-23 from deep in his last three games entering the Big 12 Tournament, and he didn’t fare any better on Thursday night, netting just 2-10 looks and 0-3 from the perimeter. Most of his 10 points came from the charity stripe. Tyrese Hunter seemingly returning to form and Morris providing some offensive firepower helps fill that gap, to be sure, but Texas won’t be at its best unless Carr is at his best — or at least much, much closer than he’s been of late.

If defense still wins championships, Texas looked the part tonight. Dylan Disu was probably the star to that end, more than holding his own down low against the size and athleticism of Okie State, but the praise can be passed throughout the entire squad. Texas smothered the Poked on that side of the court, especially around the rim, negating nearly every easy look Oklahoma State was working for. And Oklahoma State missed some open shots, to be sure, but a swarming Longhorns defense was far-and-away the main reason they shot just 27.5% (14-51) from the field.

Next up, Texas will meet the winner of Kansas State-TCU in the the semifinal on Friday night.