Rice leads No. 6 Texas past Oklahoma, 85-83

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 6 Texas stamped its series against Oklahoma on Saturday with an 85-83 overtime victory at the Moody Center.

“We’ll be in games like this for the rest of the year,” interim head coach Rodney Terry said.

Graduate guard Sir’Jabari Rice and senior forward Timmy Allen gave the Longhorns the energy they needed down the stretch and into overtime as they completed the sweep over their Red River rival.

With five minutes remaining in regulation, Rice knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers to give Texas a three-point lead, igniting the crowd at the Moody Center.

“I think Rice is one of the most unheralded players in this country,” Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons. They’re very, very deep.”

The baskets were part of a 12-1 run by the Longhorns as they extended their lead to five with a minute remaining.

However, a wild three by senior guard Grant Sherfield tied the game for the Sooners, and it looked as if Texas’ momentum had all but flushed away as its final shot from graduate guard Marcus Carr failed to fall through.

“It’s overtime now,” Carr said about the team’s thought process. “So we can’t dwell on what happened.”

The Longhorns jumped to a quick lead in overtime behind a pair of jump shots from senior forward Dylan Disu and points from Allen and Rice, and Oklahoma couldn’t bring itself back.

The Sooners had a chance to send the game to a second overtime, but junior forward Sam Godwin couldn’t convert a final layup, sealing the victory for Texas.

Allen finished as the game’s highest rebounder with nine and tied graduate forward Brock Cunningham with four assists to lead Texas. Rice tied his season-high of 24 points as he paced the Longhorns.

Texas struggled early with Oklahoma’s size advantage, doubling the Longhorns’ points in the paint in the first half, but with help from Disu and Sooner foul trouble, Texas was able to tighten its interior play in the second half.

However, the physicality played in Texas’ favor at the free-throw line. The Longhorns entered the bonus with 11 minutes to go in the first half and just under 14 to go in the second, and they finished 17-of-25 from the line.

Texas continues to lead the Big 12 standings and hosts Iowa State on Tuesday.

“Every single game in this conference is a championship game for us,” Carr said.