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Texas Wins 20th Game, Beats Oklahoma State 62-50

Kerwin Roach led the way for Texas.

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns won their final game of the regular season in Stillwater, beating Oklahoma State 62-50. Leyton Hammonds led all scorers with 20 points, while Texas freshman Kerwin Roach scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The Texas Longhorns got off to a slow start while Hammonds went off in the first half, putting up 15 of the Cowboy's 29 points in the first twenty minutes.

Through the first period, Texas wasn't particularly active offensively, seldom attacking the basket and struggling to finish from in close. One bright spot for Shaka Smart's offense was Demarcus Holland, who drove the basket three times in the first half, getting to the rim and converting each time.

The sloppy start continued for Texas in the second half. Honestly, it got worse. The Longhorns picked up seven early and mostly careless fouls, putting Oklahoma State into the bonus in under three minutes. Both Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh picked up their third foul during this time period, which forced Shaquille Cleare to play extended minutes.

Cleare made the most of his 18 minutes, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds, and playing effectively until he got really, really tired. I got tired just watching him. OK, I was just sitting on the couch drinking bourbon, but still, I was pretty tired.

For the longest time Texas seemed to have no answer for Hammonds, until late in the game Smart adjusted by putting Holland on him. This effectively neutralized OSU's versatile big man. Texas got stops, Kerwin Roach did his thing, and the Longhorns finished the game on a 16-2 run that put it away.

Game Notes

  • Kerwin Roach was balling out tonight. He did everything, scoring 15 points on 6-9 shooting by both driving to the rim and hitting 2-3 shots from beyond the arc. But Roach did more than just score. He also rebounded -- something that he has done well all year. And he gave Texas a lot of energy on defense, particularly during the critical stretch in the last seven minutes of the game when the Longhorns took control. He even dropped a nice assist to Prince Ibeh, which resulted in a dunk. Roach's complete game was needed to pull out a somewhat ugly win on the road.
  • This game had a pretty substantial free throw disparity, but don't blame the officials. Texas' sloppy defense early in the second half put OSU in the bonus for the final 17 minutes of the game. When you reach and don't move your feet, you end up fouling. Texas did this over and over to start the second period. Fortunately, the Cowboys only converted 13-22 from the free throw line, so the fouling ended up not costing the Longhorns as much as it should have.
  • Prince Ibeh didn't play very well for Texas through the first 30 minutes of the game, but he was solid during the final ten, protecting the rim without fouling. Along with the effort defensively by Holland and Roach, this was enough to stop the OSU attack late.
  • I am not sure what was up with Eric Davis tonight. He just didn't seem in the game. There were a number of occasions where he failed to attack gaps in the defense with the ball, and he just didn't seem ready to shoot. Everyone has bad nights; thankfully this one came against a depleted Oklahoma State.
  • Isaiah Taylor didn't have a great night. It is easy to want to attribute his problems to his plantar fasciitis, and maybe that is right, but this is an issue that he has been struggling with for a while -- it is just that we have only learned about it this week. Now that we know about it, it is only human nature to start to see physical problems with him as he is playing, but the truth is he has been limping around a lot over the last month. (And I never could understand why until this week.) Taylor had a tough night shooting the ball, and maybe it is no more than that.
  • There are no style points on the road.
The Big 12 tournament starts next week. Texas' first game will be on Thursday.