Hield lifts No. 3 Sooners past No. 24 Texas

Akshay Mirchandani

The newly ranked Longhorns were doing everything right. 

No. 24 Texas had No. 3 Oklahoma on the ropes all night in Norman and had OU’s star senior guard Buddy Hield under lock and key for the first half. 

But Hield, a Naismith Award contender, needed only a few moments of magic to suck the life out of the Longhorns. With the game tied at 60-60, Hield got the ball behind the 3-point line, stepped back and sunk the shot he’s made so many times this season with two seconds left. 

Texas never even got off a shot on its ensuing position, losing to Oklahoma, 63-60, on Monday night.  

The Longhorns held a 57-51 lead with 3:30 left, but Hield began his tear with a 3-pointer. Immediately after, he drove to the lane for an easy bucket. 

Hield then got to the line four times in the final two minutes and ended up scoring the final 12 points for Oklahoma. 

But for the first half, Texas played Hield as well as they possibly could have. 

The Longhorns held Hield to six first-half points. Junior guard Kendal Yancy, meanwhile, helped Texas get off to a hot start on the offensive end of the court. Yancy came into Monday not having made a 3-pointer since mid-January while undertaking the task of trying to contain Hield. 

But the junior had eight points in the opening minutes to help Texas begin the game on a 13-3 run. The Longhorns quickly stagnated and went nearly six minutes while scoring just one field goal midway through the first half. 

Yancy sparked the Longhorns again and scored five quick points to help outscore Oklahoma 14-7 to end the first half, giving Texas a 31-22 lead at the break. He ended the first half with a career-high 13 points, six rebounds and a career-high three steals.

But as the second half started, Hield and his backcourt mate senior Isaiah Cousins began to heat up, combining for 44 of Oklahoma’s 63 points. 

Head coach Shaka Smart spoke highly of Oklahoma’s two guards on Saturday but said that Texas is lucky to have two reliable guards of its own in junior guard Isaiah Taylor and senior guard Javan Felix.

Both tried to bring Texas back. Taylor was held to five points in the first half but ended the game with 19 and scored in the final seven minutes. Felix, meanwhile, had seven of his nine points in the second half, but he and Taylor were simply unable to outduel Hield in the end. 

The loss snaps Texas’ four-game winning streak and moves Texas to 4-3 against ranked opponents. Another ranked team awaits Texas on Saturday, when the Longhorns travel to Ames, Iowa, to play No. 14 Iowa State.