For awhile Oklahoma played like the team Sooner fans have been waiting for.
And the team Jeff Capel thought he had before the season began.
But eventually, as has been the case often throughout the year, OU’s bad habits took over and the Sooners lost the game.
Through the first 30 minutes, OU played solid defense against a Texas team that’s been struggling to score as of late.
But OU took bad defense to another level late in the game and collapsed on that side of the floor.
With about 11 minutes to go, Texas had 52 points and trailed by 3. But ignited by a pair of Jordan Hamilton layups and a oop dunk from Damion James to Dexter Pittman, who threw down over Tiny Gallon, Texas scored on 20 of its final 21 possessions.
20 of its final 21 possessions.
As a result, the Longhorns scored 35 points in the last 10 or so minutes of the game. If they had gone by that pace the entire game, they would have scored about 140 points.
Capel hit it right on the head after the game: “It was our inability to defend and make stops.”
* OU got clobbered on the glass, 38-21. Part of it was Capel going with a 4-guard lineup to try and pop Texas in a zone. Part of it was Andrew Fitzgerald and Ryan Wright being non-factors on the post. Part of it was Texas, which is dominant on the glass.
* Texas outscored OU 41-3 in bench points. Steven Pledger hit a 3. That was it for OU’s scoring off the sidelines, though that’s been pretty much the story this season. For Texas, Gary Johnson, J’Covan Brown and Hamilton all scored in double figures.
* Tony Crocker and Cade Davis had outstanding games. As hot as they were, you got the thought it might be OU’s night. But both cooled off in the second half, when OU was having to match Texas point for point because UT was scoring so easily. Crocker never looked the same offensively after turning his ankle at around the 13-min. mark in the 2H.
* Coming off his best game of the season, Ryan Wright might have had his worst. Wright had 14 points and 5 boards against Baylor. Against Texas? 0 points, 5 fouls in 6 minutes.
* Andrew Fitzgerald, who turned his ankle against Baylor, also struggled with 2 points, 2 boards and 4 fouls. Other than Gallon (15 points, 9 rebounds), OU got little out of the post.
* Speaking of Gallon, has the big man begun to turn a corner? In the last four games, he’s put up 10 points and 8 boards, 6 and 6, 23 and 15, and 15 and 9.
* For the third game in a row, Tommy Mason-Griffin played 40 minutes. The freshman point guard is showing tired legs in his shot. He’s made only 6 of his last 29 shots from the field.
They said it
UT coach Rick Barnes: “There is no doubt that we have gone through some struggles. I guess we have come a long way, when we are 23-7, but we’ve had some struggles. We’ve also grown a lot in some areas.”
UT forward Damion James: “I think we are more physical, and we can really pound the glass. I see that we (out)rebounded (them) 38-21, and that’s unbelievable. But I think we are more physical, and we are able to shoot the ball well and go get it.”
UT guard Jordan Hamilton: “Coach told me to be more aggressive on both the offensive and the defensive end. That’s what I’ve been bringing to the team because I’ve been worrying about my defense more often.”
OU coach Jeff Capel: “They were the tougher team down the stretch. I thought we played well for 31 minutes. Then their older guys stepped up and made plays. Then they got great contributions from two freshmen. J’Covan Brown stepped up and made some plays behind ball screens. Jordan Hamilton really played like a veteran tonight. I’m proud of our guys. I thought we did some good things. I thought we executed. I thought we got out to a good start. Again, our inability to defend and get some stops, just the little things. We’re getting closer. We’re a team where we have to do everything right to give ourselves a chance to win. We’re getting closer. I thought we did a lot of things right tonight. Little things end up being big things like free throw block outs, blocking out in general, understanding stuff we go over in practice, personnel and how we want to defend certain situations. They had a lineup in we thought we could go zone against. We didn’t handle the ball screen in the zone the correct way, and they scored three straight possessions. Those are the things we go over and we talk about and we have to carry those out on the floor. I thought we did some good things. We’re getting closer.”
Capel: “Still there’s a lot to be desired on the defensive end.”:
OU guard Cade Davis: “I think it just came down to that they wanted it more. They were getting more offensive rebounds off of free throws and things like that. We had to play defense longer. I guess you can say we ran out of gas. We hurt ourselves on the defensive end, and that’s why we couldn’t get going offensively.”
By the numbers
7: OU’s losing streak.
4: Games in a row Willie Warren has missed.
0: Road wins in conference OU finished the season with.
Follow Jake Trotter on Twitter: @Jake_Trotter.