Cousins leads Oklahoma past No. 24 Texas 77-65
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Isaiah Cousins scored a career-high 24 points and Oklahoma gained ground in the race for second place in the Big 12 with a 77-65 win over No. 24 Texas on Saturday.
Buddy Hield hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6), which entered the game in a four-way battle with Texas (21-8, 10-6), Kansas State and Iowa State behind Kansas.
After Saturday, all four teams will have two games remaining.
Oklahoma committed a season-low seven turnovers while completing a regular-season sweep of the Longhorns. The Sooners have won three of the last four games in the series after Texas had won 12 of the previous 15.
Cameron Ridley had his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds for Texas, which has lost three of its last four games after winning nine of its previous 10, all in league play.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, a proud former Texas standout, watched from courtside seats and popped into the Longhorns’ locker room at halftime with Texas down 32-25, but it was Oklahoma – led by Cousins and Hield – that came out the aggressor in the second half.
After a 3-pointer by Texas’ Jonathan Holmes, Cousins – who entered the game averaging 10.4 points per game – answered with a three-point play, then a dunk. Hield ended a 13-3 Oklahoma run with a pair of 3-pointers to push the Sooners’ lead to 45-31 with 14:55 left.
Texas came no closer than 11 points the rest of the way. The Longhorns pulled to 61-50 with 7:55 left after a layup by Martez Walker. Oklahoma then went on a 7-2 spurt to again push out its lead.
A late 6-0 run by Texas got the Longhorns within 72-61 with 1:49 left, but Cousins and Hield combined to go 5-of-6 from the free throw line after that to seal the win for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma, which entered the game leading the Big 12 in made 3-pointers per game in conference play at 8.7, went 10 of 25 from behind the arc. The Sooners’ strong outside shooting meant they didn’t need to go inside as much against a Texas team that’s 12th in NCAA Division I in blocked shots per game. The Longhorns blocked only three Oklahoma shots, more than three below their average.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma limited Texas’ Jevan Felix – who had a career-high seven 3-pointers in the Longhorns’ win over Baylor on Wednesday – to two points and 0-of-4 3-point shooting. Texas went 3-of-19 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma led 32-25 at halftime. The Sooners missed their first five shots, but picked up 3-pointers from Hield, Frank Booker, Je’lon Hornbeak and Tyler Neal – with the latter being a four-point play after he sank a free throw after being fouled – as part of a 13-2 run that put them ahead 21-12.
Holmes scored 11 points and Isaiah Taylor had 10 points and five assists for Texas.