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Oklahoma State 75, No. 6 Texas 67: Horns go ice cold in double overtime loss

Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham shoots a layup over Texas forward Brock Cunningham during the first overtime of the Cowboys' victory Saturday.

Ugly games deserve a quick, expedient death. Instead, Texas and Oklahoma State decided to go double overtime Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. 

Neither team deserved to win at Gallagher-Iba Arena, but the rules say someone must.

Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, who had two chances to win it earlier, hit a 3-pointer in the second OT, and the Cowboys carved out just enough room to win 75-67 over the sixth-ranked-and-falling Longhorns.

This was an unmitigated disaster. Texas made only five of 35 3-point shots (14.3%) and turned it over an astounding 21 times. The Longhorns (11-5, 5-4 Big 12) have now lost four of their last five and suddenly look rather shaky.

“We played hard enough and good enough on the defensive end to beat most teams in the country,” Texas’ Brock Cunningham said. “But we just couldn’t put it together on the offense end, and it cost us the game.”

Blind-eyed optimists would have a hard time shining up this one. The Horns shot 25.3% overall and went 0-for-12 in the two overtimes and 0-for-7 from 3-point range. That .253 percentage total is a new low in the Shaka Smart era, taking out the previous low of .260 against Washington in China on Nov. 13, 2015 — Smart’s first game as coach at Texas.

This came four days after Texas shot 54.9%, the ninth-highest total of the Smart era, in a loss to No. 2 Baylor. The Cowboys (12-5, 5-5) were more than happy to escape despite shooting 35.3% themselves and committing 22 turnovers. 

“We were getting really good shots. We just weren’t making them,” Smart said. “We tried to throw the ball inside earlier against the zone, and we didn’t finish very well there, either.”

Andrew Jones scored a team-high 17 points, and Courtney Ramey had 13. But no amount of hustling from Brock Cunningham could change the fact that the Horns were ice cold offensively when it counted most.

“For the most part, those are shots I know we can make.,” UT guard Matt Coleman said. “We were making the extra pass, the right play; it just didn’t fall.”

Texas forward Brock Cunningham stretches to interfere with a shot by Oklahoma State's Avery Anderson III in the Longhorns' loss Saturday.

The Horns got in early foul trouble and trailed by six at halftime as the Cowboys closed on a 21-6 run.

They started climbing back right after the break. Jones’ 3-pointer capped a 9-0 run that got UT within one. The Horns went up 46-44 with about nine minutes left as Jones scored off the break.

It was nip and tuck the rest of the way as Brock Cunningham gave the Horns multiple second chances. He ultimately finished with 10 rebounds and just three points. But Cade Cunningham hit a 3-pointer over Ramey on the right wing to tie things up at 59-59. 

Cade Cunningham had a chance to win it in regulation, but his final 3-point attempt was off the mark, and Brock Cunningham was there for an aggressive rebound.

Those two were central figures at the end of the first OT, too. Texas called timeout with 4.4 seconds left and had to inbound the ball from the OSU baseline. Brock Cunningham tried forcing it inbounds, and Cade Cunningham got the steal. 

The projected top-three pick in this year’s NBA draft had a point-blank chance to end it — and missed. Coleman came flying in to provide some resistance, but the fact is Cade Cunningham just missed, allowing the Horns to exhale.

But in the second overtime, the Cowboys didn’t miss much. Avery Anderson III and Bryce Williams scored, and then Cade Cunningham drilled in the dagger with 1:39 remaining to give OSU a 72-67 lead.

The Horns simply didn’t give themselves a good chance to win in the final five minutes. Texas went 0-for-9 as Ramey, Coleman, Jones and even Brock Cunningham all took turns missing long jumpers or 3-pointers.

There was very little driving to the rim for potentially easy buckets.

Nothing looks easy from here on out, either. Texas is now halfway through the Big 12 schedule but has three of the next four on the road. First comes a trip to Kansas State on Tuesday and then a home game next weekend against TCU.

Texas came into Saturday tied for second place with West Virginia in the Big 12 standings. But UT has to play all the heavyweights again and still has trips to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and an as-yet-unscheduled trip to Baylor ahead.

“It’s like an early reminder in the back of our mind to stay poised, stay connected around our ultimate goal,” Coleman said. “There’s still games to be played. It’s just time to be better, to take that next step of getting the mojo back, of playing like I know we can play.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.