Texas Seeks Vengeance For Lone Home Loss

In the previous two seasons, the Texas men’s basketball team has lost only one home game. That lone defeat in Austin came at the hands of Oklahoma State in a 72-67 victory for the boys from Stillwater. No. 10 Texas (13-3, 2-1) looks to even the score Monday night when the Longhorns host the No. 6 Cowboys (13-1, 3-0) in a nationally televised battle at the Erwin Center.

Coming off a loss to Texas A&M and a close win over Nebraska, Texas will need to shoot better on Monday than they have the past two games if the Horns are to beat the 'Boys. While UT has posted a 48 percent field-goal shooting average on the season, the Horns have struggled on offense recently by shooting a mere 32 percent from the field in College Station and finishing the contest in Lincoln having shot only 41 percent.

An effective offensive performance might prove a difficult feat when the Texas squares off against a strong OSU defense. On average this season, the Cowboys only forfeit 60.1 points per game and have limited opponents to shooting just 40 percent from the field. Plus, the status of LaMarcus Aldridge, UT's leading scorer in Big 12 play, is uncertain after he suffered a left knee injury in the Horns' Saturday win over Nebraska. [Season leading scorer and rebounder P.J. Tucker will play tonight, but for more on his academic situation, click here.]

A tight defense paired with a fast-paced offense has enabled the Cowboy to roll past opponents by an average margin of 21.3 points.

"They are an outstanding defensive team," said G Daniel Gibson. "They don’t give you anything easy."

Gibson ranks second among the Longhorns in scoring, and is coming off a huge night that saw the freshman turn it on late in the game, scoring all 12 of his points against Nebraska in the second half.

The only OSU loss this season came by way of a three-point defeat to a ranked Gonzaga squad in December. The most notable victory for the Cowboys came on Dec. 7 when the Oklahoma State beat No. 4 Syracuse by 15 points.

The Cowboys come to Austin with a team stocked full of talent. Leading the charge for the Cowboys is F Joey Graham, whose 19.1 points per game leads the squad. Graham is joined by speedy G John Lucas, who averages 18.7 points per game.

With his quickness, Lucas is responsible for controlling the tempo for the ‘Boys.

"They play off his rhythm and they look to him to make big shots when they need it," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes.

"They are a high octane team and have a lot of speed," said Texas C Jason Klotz. "If we come out soft and not play hard, they are going to come here and embarrass us."

Oklahoma State holds a 32-31 edge in the all-time series between the two Big 12 powerhouses, including four-straight victories over the Longhorns.

When the national spotlight is on Texas, the Longhorns have shined in the past. Entering Monday’s game, the Horns hold an 8-1 record in ESPN "Big Monday" home contests.

Texas players are excited for the opportunity to prove themselves in front of such a large audience.

"This is the reason you come to college," said Gibson, "games like this in front of a national crowd."

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