Photo Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports
No. 7 Texas staves off Oklahoma State at Big 12 tournament
Sir’Jabari Rice scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 7 Texas turned it on late in the first half and held on for a 60-47 win over Oklahoma State on Thursday in a quarterfinal game in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
The Longhorns (24-8) will play either No. 12 Kansas State or No. 22 TCU, who are seeded third and sixth, respectively, in the late semifinal on Friday. Texas swept the three contests with the Cowboys this season.
Oklahoma State (18-15) beat Oklahoma in the first round of the conference championship to reach Thursday’s game. The Cowboys will have to hope they receive an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Dylan Disu added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Texas in racking up his first double-double of the year, while Tyrese Hunter added 11 points and freshman Arterio Morris and Marcus Carr had 10 apiece. The Longhorns played without forward Timmy Allen, who was ruled out of the game and is questionable for the rest of the Big 12 tournament with a lower leg injury.
Caleb Asberry had 16 points to lead all scorers, with Kalib Boone adding 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State shot just 26.9 percent from the floor.
Texas broke away from a tied game midway through the first half and led by nine at intermission behind strong defense and 10 points off the bench from Morris. The Longhorns stretched their advantage to 17 points by scoring the first eight points of the second half and keeping Oklahoma State off the scoreboard until a layup by Boone with 13:41 to play.
The Longhorns had a field-goal drought of 10:29 during the second half before Rice ended it with a layup. Oklahoma State drew within nine points twice in the final minutes, but never closer.
The game was tied at 15-15 after the Cowboys’ Bryce Thompson’s jumper with 8:09 to play in the first half. Texas found its stride over the ensuing four minutes, using a 15-4 run capped by a 3-pointer from Morris to build a 30-19 lead with 4:06 left before halftime.
The Longhorns eventually pushed their advantage to as many as 12 points in the half before settling for a 35-26 lead at the break.
–Field Level Media