Texas shoots down OU in Big 12 finale

Longhorns hit nine 3-pointers in a 72-48 rout of Oklahoma. With the loss, the Sooners (20-7, 11-5) finished third place in the final Big 12 standings while the Longhorns (25-5, 13-3) claim a share of the regular season Big 12 title. Texas guard Daniel Gibson (pictured above) led UT with 22 points. (AP Photo/Steve Moakley)

Oklahoma spoiled senior Texas' day last year in Austin. This season was a different story.

Playing for a share of the regular season conference title, the seventh-ranked Longhorns (25-5, 13-3) came out on fire and never looked back in their 72-48 win over Oklahoma (20-7, 11-5) on Sunday.

"We just didn't seem to have a lot of energy today," said OU head coach Kelvin Sampson, who is now 18-9 overall against Texas. "We were kind of listless. We kept just trying to find the right combinations, but this is a game we can learn from.

"Hopefully, this is a game we can learn from and get better from. We just gotta look at this game as learning experience and move to the next one."

With the win, Texas clinched a share of the regular season Big 12 Championship and a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next weekend in Dallas. Oklahoma will be the No. 3 seed.

Texas hit six of their 12 3-point attempts in the first half to build a 33-23 halftime lead. The Longhorns then started the second half on a 8-2 run and the rout was on.

"They did a much better job of getting open. You know what? Teams shoot better at home than they do on the road," Sampson said.

"When you play at home, you're pretty good. Look at the Kansas game that was here. But, I don't know if home court had much to do today with our energy level and how hard we played or competed. I didn't think we were very good in those areas."

In all, the Longhorns hit nine 3-pointers and shot 48.2 percent from the field for the game. On the other hand, the Sooners shot 42 percent from the field and were just 4-for-15 from 3-point range.

To sum it up, the Longhorns were able to work the ball all day for eas shots against Oklahoma's defense and make them, while the Sooners struggled to get open looks period.

Texas also outrebounded Oklahoma 24-20 and turned the ball over seven times to the Sooners' 14.

Oklahoma took an early 3-0 led on a 3-pointer by Terrell Everett and led 12-10 on a Taj Gray bucket with 15:20 to go, but from that point on it was all Texas.

To sum it up, the Longhorns had easy shots all day and made them against Oklahoma's defense, while the Sooners struggled to get open looks period.

Oklahoma's senior trio of Gray, Kevin Bookout and Everett were benched for a good portion of the second half and finished with a combined 21 points. They came into the game averaging just over 28 a game.

Junior guard Michael Neal, who came into the game averaging 13 a game, finished with just six on 2-of-7 shooting.

Gray led the way with 10 points and Bookout finished with eight. Everett, who was the first to get benched and even sat on the bench as seldom-used junior college transfer Chris Walker saw playing time, finished with just five poitns, three assists and a game-high five turnovers.

Perhaps the lone bright spot of the day came with OU's seniors on the bench, as center Longar Longar was solid in his 15 minutes of action with eight points. Freshman guard Austin Johnson dished a team-high four assists off the bench.

"We played Texas twice this year, we split with them," Sampson said. "We'd like to have played better today, but this game is not going to hurt us if we learn from it. Now the mistake that was made tonight would be if we don't bounce back and learn from this game on Friday."

"Our team has thrived all year. We had some adversity and then we bounced back. Next weekend we go to the Big 12 Tournament, and I expect us to bounce back and play very well there."

The Sooners will begin their Big 12 Tournament run in a quarterfinal matchup at 8:20 p.m. on Friday. The Sooners will play the winner of Thursday's Nebraska-Missouri first round game.

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