STILLWATER — You kept waiting for Gallagher-Iba Arena to explode.
Blow the top off the grand palace, just like the old days, when Eddie Sutton's defense would boil and Desmond Mason would dunk a 40-foot Doug Gottlieb pass and some stout Big 12 foe would slink out of town bloodied and bowed.
Blow the top off like that night 10 years ago, when OSU got back in the basketball business with a rousing victory over Missouri in the first game after the plane crash.
But the Texas Longhorns would have none of it. The roof stayed on.
The 'Horns were gracious visitors Wednesday night, wearing OSU Remember the 10 shirts, bright orange, as warmups, but that's as far as UT was willing to go.
Texas routed the Cowboys 61-46, sending home a crowd that honored the 10 victims of the 2001 plane crash by packing Gallagher-Iba, again like the old days.
But the Cowboys never gave this crowd a chance to detonate.
OSU made just 18 of 56 shots. Made just one 3-pointer in 11 tries. Scored just 19 points the final 22 minutes and 40 seconds.
“Very emotional night,” said State coach Travis Ford. “Great night to honor and celebrate people who loved and honored this university.
“I'm disappointed we didn't play better for our fans.”
The festivities were hallowed. The announcement that OSU basketball would retire the No. 10 and hang it from the rafters .
The speeches by Sutton, Mason, Gottlieb and Andre Williams — nice touch by Gottlieb, urging the fans to fill Gallagher-Iba for every game, just like the old days.
But this night, just like that night against Mizzou 10 years ago, needed a victory topper.
“Let's win!” some fan yelled after the halftime ceremonies. It was not to be.
Not with this Texas defense, led by point guard Dogus Balbay, called by Ford the best player on the court.
Not with this seventh-ranked Longhorn squad that now within a span of 100 hours has won by double digits in two holy hoops halls, Allen Fieldhouse and Gallagher-Iba.
Not with this OSU offense that struggles to score game after game and threatens to keep the Cowboys out of the NCAA Tournament.
“Offense is what gives you confidence,” Ford said. “Offense is what makes your defense better. We're just not getting enough possessions going.”
This was a ballgame, 27-27, late in the first half. Then OSU went nine straight scoreless possessions, and it was over.
Oh well. That's what happens when a football school plays a basketball school.
Give the Cowboys credit. They played hard. Ten offensive rebounds in the first half, which is always a sign of effort.
“They just beat us,” said OSU's Marshall Moses. “I wish we could have played better for those (10) people. But it had nothing to do with anything other than Texas beat us in our own gym.”
Ten years ago, on another night with a packed arena, the Cowboys found a way to beat Missouri in maybe OSU's most important game ever.
Emotions were raw. A silver lining was precious. A victory offered the sliver of hope that things might one day be normal again.
Ten years later, we know that while time doesn't heal all wounds, it does help, and now we know, too, that victory is not automatic on a night of remembrance.
You've still got to put the ball in the basket.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at