Texas stars Jones, Allen push No. 20 Texas past Oklahoma in 80-78 overtime win

Nick Pannes, Sports Reporter

After leading for nearly the entire game, Texas let a six-point buffer vanish in just two and a half minutes. 

A steal by Oklahoma senior guard Elijah Harkless led to an easy layup. Despite holding Oklahoma to 4-21 from three, Texas couldn’t stop senior guard Umoja Gibson’s shot from behind the arc as he cut the lead to one.

After Oklahoma tied the game at 66 points with 38 seconds remaining, neither team found a way to score before time expired.

The next five minutes were a gritty back-and-forth. This time, Texas held their lead until the final seconds of the game. A full-court press from the Longhorns stifled the Sooners, forcing Harkless to lob a three from way beyond the arc, hitting the top of the backboard. 

For Texas, Tuesday’s 80-78 win was its first overtime game of the season and their fifth game decided by five points or less. For Oklahoma, it marked its third overtime loss. The No. 20 Longhorns are now 4–1 in their last five games against their archrival, including a 66-52 win earlier this year.

Without junior forward Tre Mitchell, who missed the game for personal reasons, Texas’ starters put on an offensive clinic on the road. 

Senior guard Andrew Jones rose to the occasion against Oklahoma with 20 points on 4-5 shooting from three. He played all but two minutes of the entire contest and was his team’s primary scorer throughout most of the game. Jones’ performance on Tuesday propelled him to the 12th all-time scorer at Texas with a career total of 1,511 points.

Jones has cemented himself this season as a critical part of an offense that, thanks to the transfer portal, is stacked with scoring talent. Over their combined careers, the current Texas roster totals more than 11,000 career points.

Texas head coach Chris Beard understood Jones’ potential early in the season, calling him a reliable scorer and a centerpiece of his offensive scheme.

“I’ve spent zero seconds, not even a millisecond worrying about (Andrew Jones’s) offense,” Beard said last November. “Every time he shoots I think it’s going in. We got no backup plan to win big out here without Andrew Jones. He’s involved in every plan we have.”

Senior forward Timmy Allen contributed 20 points as well, including six in overtime. After landing a decisive layup with 11 seconds remaining, Allen purposefully fouled Harkless to give the Longhorns a strategic advantage. Despite hitting both free throws, Oklahoma was forced to foul senior guard Marcus Carr with four seconds left, the final nail in the coffin for the Sooners.

Carr also came alive in overtime with six points of his own. He was a lifeline in Texas’ overtime push, making his way to the free-throw line four times. He finished the night with 16 points.

While this win lifts Texas to 8–5 in conference play, the Longhorns remain stuck in fourth place in the Big 12. They host No. 11 Texas Tech on Saturday. A win against the Red Raiders would push Texas to the third spot in the conference and place them within spitting distance of Kansas and Baylor.