Texas falls short in loss to Oklahoma State

Evan Berkowitz

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor toed the free-throw line with 3.2 seconds left and a chance at a come-from-behind victory. 

No. 25 Texas (14–8, 3–6 Big 12) had just clawed its way back from a 15-point deficit behind Taylor’s aggressiveness and sophomore guard Demarcus Holland’s perfect 3-point shooting. Oklahoma State (15–7, 5–5 Big 12) bricked the front end of consecutive one-and-ones. Taylor drove to the lane as time expired, drawing contact as he flipped the ball in. But the refs waved the shot off, and Taylor faced a pressure-filled one-and-one.

He short armed it, and Oklahoma State pulled out the 65–63 win in overtime for its first road victory in conference play.

“That free throw … that’s something I can’t get back,” Taylor said. “We fought — had the chance to win the game. Blew it. It was tough.”

In overtime, Texas controlled the pace, finding its way to the line and making Oklahoma State play catch up. But in the end, Texas found itself on the losing side. Down 1 point, junior forward Connor Lammert grabbed a big offensive rebound and drew the foul. He only hit one, however, giving junior guard Phil Forte, Oklahoma State’s leading scorer, the final chance in a tie game.

Forte drove on Holland and got junior center Cam Ridley up in the air, where he drew the foul with 2.1 seconds left. He sunk both the free throws and the Longhorns’ chance to end the losing streak, which now rests at four games.

While Texas played well in the second half and overtime, the first half was a dud. Behind 13 turnovers because of sloppy ball handling and careless passes, the Longhorns gave themselves an uphill battle. They had more turnovers than made field goals (10) as they entered the half down double digits.

“Eighteen points off turnovers,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “Most of those in the first half. That’s what’s disappointing.”

They “fixed it” in the second half, however, to give Oklahoma State a game. But early that half, senior forward Jonathan Holmes went down after bumping heads with Oklahoma State forward Le’Bryan Nash. He then wobbled off to the locker room. There is no word yet, as Barnes said he was taken out for precautionary reasons. Junior guard Javan Felix missed the game with a concussion.

“We still have a lot of confidence,” Holland said. “We know we have a lot of games remaining. I trust my teammates. We aren’t panicking.”