No. 20 Texas, Oklahoma look to rebound in key Big 12 matchup

No. 20 Texas and Oklahoma will look to get back in the win column when they square off on Tuesday in Norman, Okla., to finish off their Big 12 Conference regular-season series.

Both the Longhorns and Sooners come into the key league game off road defeats, but the way they lost couldn’t be more different.

Texas (18-7, 7-5 Big 12) was walloped by No. 10 Baylor 80-63 on Saturday in a game that the Longhorns trailed by 13 points at halftime and by 21 less than eight minutes into the second half. Texas shot just 32.8 percent in the loss and were just 10 for 34 from the floor after halftime.

After the setback, Longhorns’ coach Chris Beard questioned his team’s toughness, especially in the wake of a workmanlike win at home against No. 8 Kansas earlier in the week.

“From where I stand, we’re a team that hasn’t proven that we can handle some success,” Beard said. “Baylor basically beat us with seven players — we tried 12 or 13 to find a spark, and their seven beat our 12. The way we played basketball today was not Texas basketball. It was soft.”

Andrew Jones paced Texas in the loss to Baylor with 11 points off the bench while Timmy Allen, Courtney Ramey, Christian Bishop, Marcus Carr and Jase Febres added eight points apiece for the Longhorns.

“We let the Kansas game be our championship,” Ramey said. “(Baylor) wanted it more. All 13 players can say we played soft today.”

Conversely, the Sooners went to the mat with Kansas on Saturday. They fell 71-69 when the Jayhawks forged a 15-2 run late in the game and only after OU’s Jordan Goldwire’s step-back jumper in the final seconds to tie the game bounced off the front of the rim.

Goldwire scored a career-high 20 points — including a wild 3-pointer from near midcourt with 24 seconds left — to lead the Sooners (14-11, 4-8 Big 12) in the loss.

Tanner Groves added 19 points, Elijah Harkless hit for 12 and Jalen Hill tallied 10 for Oklahoma, which has dropped eight of its past 10 games and lost 21 straight games on the road against Kansas.

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The Sooners went on a 7-2 run down the stretch to give themselves a chance.

“I thought our guys played their tails off to put them in a position to win against one of the top teams in the country and in one of the top atmospheres in the country,” Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said.

“I don’t want the bar to be everyone telling our guys it’s good to come close. We have to keep chasing and getting better. That’s what February is about — getting better, getting better, getting better.”

The Sooners were looking to build on their home upset of No. 9 Texas Tech on Wednesday with a monumental road win but instead have to take some consolation from a loss in an arena where they haven’t tasted victory since 1993.

“We’ve just got to keep this in our gut,” Hill said afterward. “Keep this feeling going into this Texas game with the will to win. If we can just play great on offense and great on defense, we can beat any team that we want to.”

Texas beat the Sooners 66-52 in Austin on Jan. 11, recording its largest margin of victory against Oklahoma since a 74-54 win in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal contest in 2011.

–Field Level Media


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