Longhorns Complete Sooner Sweep

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Taking damage from Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson was something that Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said he expected.

But Jai Lucas? The senior point guard, often the third point in the Longhorns' rotation — not counting Cory Joseph, who also earns some run there — played a combined eight minutes in the two previous Oklahoma games, scoring no points and not dishing out any assists.

Yet there was Lucas Thursday, playing 12 first-half minutes, the most of any Longhorn point guard. He made the most of his opportunity, knocking down two three-pointers and scoring eight first-half points while dishing out another assist. Those baskets helped the Longhorns build a 43-20 halftime advantage, and eventually Texas (26-6) coasted to a remarkably easy 74-54 victory over the Sooners (14-18)

"I thought Jai was terrific tonight," Capel said. "Jai Lucas is a good player, who maybe hasn't played as well as he's capable of throughout his career. But if they can get that production out of him and J'Covan (Brown), who can really score, I think they have a chance to make a deep run."

Lucas, whose shooting percentages have plummeted this year, said it was all about finding his rhythm as a player.

"(I'm) more of a rhythm guy than just somebody who can just come off the bench and score," Lucas said. "Just getting in the flow of the game quicker has been something that I've really worked on. "I've always continued to do my work behind the scenes," Lucas said. "So I knew sooner or later, (shots) would fall."

Lucas wasn't the only one to find his rhythm early. Hamilton scored 15 of his 22 in the first half, and grabbed 15 rebounds for the game. Thompson also added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Brown scored 11 points, dished out five assists and had just one turnover, borrowing Lucas's hot hand in the second half.

It wasn't quite a perfect outing, as the Longhorns failed to build off that first-half momentum and largely coasted through the second half. Texas also allowed Cade Davis, who had been bottled up by Longhorn defenders in the first two match-ups, to score 17 points.

But Texas coach Rick Barnes said he was pleased that the Longhorns did a great job of sticking to their roles. Indeed, should the Longhorns continue that trend, they'll have a chance to run the table in the Big 12 Tournament, and to make a run in the NCAAs.

Texas will next play Texas A&M in Friday's second game. Tip off is projected at 8:30 p.m.


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