Texas comes back in the second half once again to defeat Oklahoma


Lawrence Peart

J’Covan Brown plays stingy defense in a 74-54 victory last March. This year the win was not nearly as easy but Brown and the rest of the Longhorns prevailed this year 69-58 thanks to a second half comeback and 15 key second half points from him.

Austin Laymance

The Longhorns are a better team in the second half.

Texas rallied to beat Oklahoma, 69-58, on Tuesday night in Norman, Okla. to extend its winning streak to four games. UT (17-9) overcame a five-point halftime deficit to win only its third away game of the season and its second in a row.

The Longhorns have outscored their opponent in the second half in eight straight games and trailed going into the break in each of their last three wins. UT has won the second half 22 times in 26 tries this season.

Oklahoma led, 33-25, with 36 seconds left in the first half before Texas went on a 10-0 run that carried into the second. UT scored the first seven points after the break to take a 35-33 lead. OU battled back but J’Covan Brown put the Longhorns ahead for good with a 3-pointer that made it 38-37 with 14:35 to play.

Brown scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to pace Texas. The junior added three rebounds, two assists and two steals. He made three consecutive 3-pointers in 2:25 to help turn a two-point hole into an eight-point advantage.

Freshman guard Sheldon McClellan scored in double figures for the fourth straight game and finished with 13 points off the bench. The Longhorns’ reserves outscored the Sooners’ bench, 23-8.

Myck Kabongo dished out seven assists to go along with 13 points. Five freshmen combined to score 43 of the team’s 69 points.

UT had 31 rebounds against 27 for OU. The Longhorns also had an 8-5 edge in steals and forced 13 Sooners turnovers.

Texas made all eight of its free throws in the final 1:26 to seal the victory. The Longhorns went 24 of 29 from the line. OU shot only eight free throws and made five.

UT had a huge advantage in free throws for the second time in as many games. The Longhorns made 27 free throws more than Kansas State during Saturday’s win and attempted 36 free throws more than KSU.

Steven Pledger led the Sooners with 18 points and five rebounds. Pledger did most of his damage inside and the Longhorns held him to two of eight shooting from beyond the arc. Cameron Clark and Romero Osby each contributed 13 points for OU.

Texas has also improved in the second half of the Big 12 schedule.

The Longhorns are 7-6 in the league after reaching the halfway mark with a 3-6 record. UT has a winning conference record for the first time since Jan. 11, when it beat Texas A&M to move to 2-1.

The Longhorns have five games remaining in the Big 12 and will return to the Sooner state on Saturday to face Oklahoma State.

Meanwhile, the Sooners continued their free fall in the Big 12 standings and dropped to 3-10 in the league. OU fell to 13-12. Lon Kruger’s team has lost five games in a row and seven of its last eight.

Printed on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 as: Longhorns storm back to beat OU