Big first half sends No. 16 Oklahoma over No. 10 Texas
This time the Oklahoma Sooners kept their emotions in check.
There was no trash talk, no swagger, no upside-down "Hook’em Horns" sign to incite the Texas Longhorns and their home crowd. For the No. 16 Sooners, there was nothing but dominating basketball in a 70-49 of their Big 12 rivals Monday night.
Buddy Hield scored 13 points, four other Sooners scored in double figures, and Oklahoma forced Texas into a school-record low for points in a half in a Big 12 game. Oklahoma led 33-14 at halftime and the game was effectively over.
Texas fans stuck around for a while hoping for rally, but only a few thousand were left by the time the Sooners had put the finishing touches on humiliating the Longhorns on their home court.
"We were just telling each other don’t let them come back. Stay focused, stay humble," said Sooners forward TaShawn Thomas, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Two years ago, the Sooners let Texas rally from 22 points down in the second half to win in overtime. That rally was sparked after an Oklahoma player flashed and upside-down "Hook’em Horns" hand sign after an emphatic dunk.
Oklahoma was much more methodical in putting away the Longhorns this year, giving them no chance at a comeback.
Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0) beat a top 10 team on the road for the first time since 1993 and could get a huge confidence boost at the start of the Big 12 schedule. The Sooners also tied their largest margin of victory over Texas on the road in the history of the rivalry, matching a 21-point win in 2001.
The Longhorns did their part in aiding the rout. Even with point guard Isaiah Taylor back for the second game after missing 10 with a broken left wrist, Texas was a mess offensively with just 6 of 30 shooting in the half and nine turnovers.
"That was embarrassing, they came in here and took us out of everything," Texas forward Jonathan Holmes said. "Tonight was bout toughness and having some pride … They really punched us in the mouth."
Javan Felix scored 13 for Texas.
Texas coach Rick Barnes may have to nurse his team back into believing they can still challenge for the league title after a lethargic performance and one of the worst home losses in a years.
"I don’t think we showed any kind of toughness. I don’t think we showed any kind of fight," Barnes said.
Texas (12-3, 1-1) had won 16 of its last 17 at home but has now lost two of its last three at the Erwin Center. The Longhorns finished tied for third in the Big 12 last season in large part because of their ability to protect their home court. Texas was 8-1 in the league at home last season.
The only loss in last year’s Big 12 run? That was to Oklahoma in the conference opener. The Sooners came back for more Monday night and controlled the game throughout.
Oklahoma: The Sooners lead the rivalry 51-35 … Cousins leads the Big 12 guards in rebounding and finished with seven against Texas … Much has been made of Texas’ physical size, but the Sooners won the rebounding 42-37 and had a 34-16 scoring edge in the paint.
Texas: Holmes had scored in double figures in five consecutive games but scored just four points … Taylor had nine points, four assists and two turnovers in his second game back from the wrist injury … Felix has been Texas’ leading scorer over the last five games despite coming off the bench. He ended up playing 35 minutes Monday night.
Texas’ only lead came at 3-2 at 16:37 in the first half after a Felix 3-pointer. The Sooners responded with an 11-0 run and the rout was on. Texas never cut the lead under 20 in the second half.
BIG 12, NO BIG DEAL
Thomas has been a force in his first two Big 12 games for the Sooners. The senior transfer from Houston has 36 points and 19 rebounds in two wins over ranked opponents in one of the most physical leagues in the country.