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Texas Loses to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 78-65

The Longhorns' loss drops their Big 12 record to 5-11.

Julien Lewis returned from injury, and scored 15 points.
Julien Lewis returned from injury, and scored 15 points.

Oklahoma State beat Texas by 13 points, behind a balanced performance that saw four Cowboys reach double figures in scoring. Markel Brown led the way with 18 points, while Marcus Smart contributed 11 points, six rebounds, four steals, and three assists in his typical display of all around excellence. Julien Lewis and Javan Felix scored 15 and 13, respectively, in the losing effort.

Since his return from suspension several weeks ago, Myck Kabongo has sparked the Texas offense. Saturday afternoon's game in Stillwater was his first truly bad game this year. The defensive pressure of the Cowboys got to the Texas guard, as Kabongo turned the ball over 7 times, and wasn't able to crack through Travis Ford's trapping defense.

The Longhorns held the lead for much of the first half. 10 first half OSU turnovers and some hot shooting by the Longhorns (Texas was 5-10 from three in the first period) helped Rick Barnes' team gain an early advantage. But some sloppy play by Texas in the final few minutes of the first half helped the Cowboys take control. Travis Ford's team went into the locker room with a six point lead, and the game would never be closer than that.

One positive for Texas was the 20 productive minutes of Javan Felix. The freshman guard scored 13 points on only eight shots. Felix was 2-3 from long range, and had some success penetrating the OSU defense. Felix's future improvement depends on developing a consistent long range stroke, with Saturday's game showing an example of what he can look like if he gets to the point where he can consistently hit threes.

Oklahoma State's pressure appeared to rattle Texas, and totally took the young Longhorns out of their offense. Since Kabongo's return Texas' offense has been humming along, but a combination of turnovers, a lack of second chance points, and few trips to the line limited the Longhorns to 0.88 points per possession.

For their part, the Cowboys looked solid. Oklahoma State's NCAA tournament will probably be ended by their offensive limitations, but on Saturday, the only thing holding the Cowboy offense back was a handful of extra turnovers. If Ford's team plays more like they did in the second half yesterday, they will be a tough out for someone later this month.