Roach basket for Texas beats Oklahoma State 65-64
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Missing three crucial players and trailing by 10 points early in the second half, Texas summoned the resiliency for a push to defeat Oklahoma State Saturday and keep alive its hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Kerwin Roach II made a driving shot with 1.2 seconds left, giving the Longhorns a 65-64 victory. Kendall Smith scored seven of the last nine points for Oklahoma State, including a jump shot that gave the Cowboys a one-point lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Texas (17-12, 7-9 Big 12) called time out after Smith’s basket, and coach Shaka Smart selected a play for Roach. At one point, Roach was confronted by three defenders and considered passing the ball.
”But I just wanted to see what I could do,” Roach said.
Center Mohamed Bamba, who averages around 13 points and 11 rebounds and is one of the top shot-blockers in the country, missed the second half with a left toe injury he suffered on Feb. 24 against Oklahoma. Bamba had two points and four rebounds in 15 minutes.
”He tried,” Smart said. ”But you could tell by the look on his face he didn’t have it.”
Texas was also without guard Eric Davis Jr., who sat on the bench while the school investigates whether he received an improper payment from a sports agency. A third Longhorn, starting guard Andrew Jones, has been out since January while undergoing treatment for leukemia.
”I thought for the most part our guys had good spirit,” Smart said.
Oklahoma State made a 12-0 rally starting with a 3-point basket by Carroll as the first half ended. The Cowboys expanded the run to 20-2 for a 10-point lead early in the second half.
But Texas later responded with eight straight points, six by Roach, to tie the game. Then Roach made a key decision, and a big shot, and kept the Longhorns in play for the NCAAs.
”It was actually a broken play,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. ”We actually defended the play they ran well. Kerwin did what really good players do.”
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games and allowed their NCAA Tournament hopes to likely slip away with the loss. They have only two wins on the road this season, both against nationally ranked teams. Within the span of a week, the Cowboys beat Kansas and West Virginia, ranked No. 7 and 19 at the time.
Texas: The Longhorns are trying to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, something they have not done since the 1970s and `80s, when they missed nine in a row. They might have to continue making that attempt without Davis, implicated in a Yahoo! Sports report claiming that he was among the college players who received money, in his case $1,500, from the ASM Sports agency. Davis averages 8.8 points a game, fourth-best on the team.
BIG BOOST FROM SUBS
Young’s 12 points, on 4-of-8 shooting, were a season best for him. He played a season-high 28 minutes, largely filling in for Davis. Smart said Young, a sophomore, played more under control than he has at other times.
”He’s at his best when he’s aggressive, attacking,” Smart said. ”When you are aggressive and attacking, you still have to make the right play mentally. You can’t run the other guy over – that’s a charge. You can’t throw the ball to the wrong spot. You can’t be overzealous on a certain defensive play where you take yourself out of position.”
Jericho Sims, a 6-foot-9 freshman reserve who averages four points, filled in for Bamba much of the game and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
SIMILAR SCRIPT, DIFFERENT ENDING
The first time Oklahoma State and Texas met this season, the Cowboys won by the same score as Saturday, 65-64, after trailing by double figures in the second half. Tavarius Shine made the winning basket with six seconds left.
”Another great game in college basketball,” Boynton said. ”I’m proud of my team. This stuff’s hard.”
Oklahoma State: At Iowa State on Tuesday. The Cowboys defeated the Cyclones 96-87 on Jan. 6 in Stillwater.
Texas: At Kansas on Monday. The Longhorns have lost eight straight to the Jayhawks, including 92-86 in Austin on Dec. 29.