NORMAN, Okla. — Surely the Longhorns could get their first road win of the season against the last-place team in the Big 12 standings, right?
Jordan Shepherd hit a critical 3-pointer, Kameron McGusty followed with a baseline jumper with 2:04 remaining and Oklahoma staved off a furious comeback attempt to secure a 70-66 win over its not-so-loving rival Texas at Lloyd Noble Center.
It was hard to watch both teams at times in this matchup of the ninth- and 10th-place teams in the league standings. But Oklahoma (9-16, 3-10) improved its place in the league cellar while Texas fell to 0-9 in true road games this season.
The Sooners hit three free throws in the final 29.7 seconds and Rashard Owens blocked Jarrett Allen’s late shot into the stands as a final exclamation point.
Allen had a team-high 15 points for the Longhorns (10-16, 4-9). Andrew Jones added 12 more. But Texas struggled at the free throw line and lost its momentum when OU went on a 14-2 run in the second half. During that stretch, the Horns went scoreless for 6 minutes, 25 seconds.
The Sooners needed someone to step up in the wake of Jordan Woodard’s torn anterior cruciate ligament injury that ended his season. Jamuni McNeace came into the game averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 24 games this season. He went wild, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
It’s time to put the free throw coach on the hot seat. Texas were 9 for 18 at the stripe on Saturday against Oklahoma State. Against the Sooners, the Horns were an equally woeful 7 for 16. Allen was 1 for 8. This was after he went 0 for 7 against the Cowboys.
It’s been quite some time since Jacob Young turned heads. But he was off to a pretty solid start against OU until landing in foul trouble. He drilled a 3-pointer and had a nifty dish to Allen for a monster dunk. But Young lasted only nine minutes early. He got the business end of an OU player’s shoulder and got called for an offensive foul. And he picked up another foul when going after a loose ball in what should have been a no-call.
Texas looked sloppy from the get-go, and Jones was having a real difficult time early. The freshman guard had five of UT’s eight first-half turnovers. The Horns were getting great looks at the basket and shot 61 percent in the first half. But the Sooners had their hands up in passing lanes and showed more hustle after 50-50 balls.
The Longhorns have five regular-season games remaining, three at home. Next comes Saturday’s matchup with Kansas State. The Wildcats (16-9, 5-7) knocked off the Longhorns in the Big 12 opener 65-62 in Manhattan back on Dec. 30. Coach Bruce Weber’s team is rising here in February despite recent losses to Kansas and West Virginia. K-State hosts Iowa State on Wednesday.
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.