'Horns Just Too Tough For Sooners in K.C.

The Sooners' stay in Kansas City is over, as the Texas Longhorns leapt out to yet another big lead in the third meeting between these two and cruised to a 74-54 victory in the Big 12 Quarterfinals Thursday night at the Sprint Center.

"Congrats to Texas," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "They're a great basketball team. They put us in a very, very tough position early."

After each team traded baskets in the opening two minutes, Texas eventually built a double-digit lead and never really looked back.

But it didn't do so immediately, as OU did, in fact, have its chances early.

Texas made just a pair of field goals in the first four minutes, and it was just 4-2, but the problem was OU couldn't buy a bucket either.

"We felt like we got some good looks, just didn't finish them," Capel said.

And when the Longhorns finally started finding their rhythm, the Sooners still couldn't, a big reason why Texas scored nine unanswered points to make it 11-2.

The Sooners scored a couple of times to make it 11-6, but that's the point where Texas took off.

A 20-12 spurt over the next 6:30 left OU down 17.

From there, Texas scored 12 of the first half's final 18 points to go up 43-20 at intermission.

"I think we just kind of rushed ourselves," said guard Cade Davis on what triggered Texas' run. "Their pressure got to us. We were kind of forcing shots and just weren't able to make open shots that we did get, and they knocked us back on our heels."

The Sooners simply looked whipped, with a lack of effort and intensity in the first half that was so prevalent in the previous night's win over Baylor.

However, they came out of the halftime gates with better energy, using a 7-2 run to get back to within 18.

Later in the half, the Sooners cut it to 13, when Davis and guard Steven Pledger hit a two and three, respectively, to cap off a 7-0 run that made it 63-50.

"We went into halftime knowing we were still confident that we were going to come out and still play hard and had a chance to compete and fight and get back in the game," Davis said. "So, that's something that I'm very proud of, to say that hopefully I showed that and displayed that in eery game this year. And likewise for my teammates."

But they just dug themselves too big of a hole, as Texas closed the game out with 11 of the last 15 points to move onto the Big 12 Semifinals.

The Sooners, who finish the season at 14-18, including a 6-12 mark in conference games, were led by Davis yet again with his 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting.

Forward Andrew Fitzgerald was the only other OU player in doubles, as he managed 10 points.

For Texas, forward Jordan Hamilton led the way with 20 points, while forward Tristan Thompson and guard J'Covan Brown added 13 and 11, respectively.

Not only was it the final game for the Sooners this season, but it was the last for Davis and long time play-caller Bob Barry.

Barry was presented with a game ball at the end of the contest.

"Also want to give special thanks to Bob Barry," Capel said. "What an amazing man he is. It's been an honor for me just to have an opportunity to be around him, as it is for our guys to be around him, hear his stories, his wisdom, his outlook on life.

"I don't know if I've ever seen the man have a bad day. Even last year when he was battling some physical ailments, just was always incredibly positive, and he's a great example for our guys of just how to live and how to look at life."

The Sooners won't have him back at least as closely as an example in 2011-12, but they will return all of the team, minus Davis, assuming nothing major happens in the offseason.


Player Postgame Interviews: Guards Cade Davis and Carl Blair:

Head coach Jeff Capel Postgame Thoughts:

Special thanks to LonghornDigest.com's Kevin Flaherty for the audio.


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