Hoops: Back To The Pack For Texas

With their head coach sidelined, the unranked Oklahoma State Cowboys still managed to shock Texas with an 81-60 upset over the No. 6 Longhorns in Stillwater on Sunday.

Interim coach Sean Sutton, replacing his father Eddie Sutton, who is on medical leave following a car accident and drunk driving charge, led his mediocre team to victory in a one-sided battle culminating with OSU fans rushing the court as time expired.

Texas (22-4, 10-2) looked abysmal on both sides of the court and never got things going, while Oklahoma State (14-12, 4-8) played with unparalleled intensity and emotion and put the game nearly out of reach as early as halftime.

Playing amidst banners showing support for their legendary coach, the Cowboys out-hearted Texas to hold the Horns to a mere 33.3 percent shooting from the field, while OSU finished with a sizzling 50.8 shooting percent on the afternoon.

The Horns came into the contest with a five-game winning streak, while the Cowboys had lost seven of their previous eight, but it did not show on Saturday.

G Kenton Paulino and F P.J. Tucker led the way for Texas with 12 points a piece, but fierce defense in the paint shut down C LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with just nine points but 10 rebounds.

Texas perimeter players shot off target all night, sinking only 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from behind the arc, while the Cowboys drained nearly half of their long distance attempts (7-of-16, 43.8 percent).

The game started innocently enough for Texas, with the Horns trailing by one point five minutes in after Aldridge scored the first four points for Texas and Gibson added a three pointer. Gibson went on to finish with 11 points after getting into early foul trouble.

The pace slowed down in the next few minutes until OSU climbed to a five-point lead with a JamesOn Curry jumper. Curry slashed his way past Longhorn defenders all afternoon and finished his day with a game-high 22 points.

In the final four minutes of the half, Texas settled for just free throws, while the Cowboys knocked down several field goals and a three pointer at the buzzer to cap off a 13-6 run that gave the Cowboys an 11-point halftime advantage.

Texas showed signs of life at the start of the second half, with Tucker connecting on a jumper and Paulino scoring a three pointer to pull the Horns to within eight, despite a flurry of Curry buckets.

The OSU lead hovered around 10 points for the next couple of minutes after Buckman, Paulino, Aldridge and Gibson each made a shot from the floor to respond to OSU’s sharp shooting. The Cowboys caught fire again and went on a 10-2 run until a pair of Buckman free throws ended the streak.

The damage had been done, though, and the Cowboys rolled through the final eight minutes of play for the blowout.

Texas, now tied with Kansas (10-2, 19-6) atop the Big 12 standings, takes on Kansas State in Manhattan on Wednesday at 7.

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