Kabongo, Texas fall 78-65 to No. 15 Pokes

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: March 2, 2013
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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — The special formula of a spectacular Myck Kabongo and an effective full-court press provided the most thrilling victory Texas' disappointing season and the biggest comeback of Rick Barnes' tenure.

Neither one could make an impact on the road at No. 15 Oklahoma State.

Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le'Bryan Nash added 16 and the Cowboys corralled Kabongo to beat Texas 78-65 on Saturday.

A showcase of two of the Big 12's marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers against frequent double-teams while the Cowboys' Marcus Smart had five.

"I don't know why Myck wasn't doing the things we asked him to do," Barnes said. "We knew that would happen. We had three guys out there that played the point, four really.

"I think Myck got caught up in it a little bit, trying to do it too much by himself."

Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo's turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33 after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.

Texas (13-16, 5-11) never got within 10 points after that.

The Cowboys sent two defenders at Kabongo at every chance, forcing him into mistakes or simply getting the ball out of the hands of Texas' top scorer. The Longhorns had won three of five after Kabongo returned from a 23-game NCAA suspension, and he had a career-best 31 points in the win against Oklahoma in his last game.

Kabongo ended up with a season-low seven points and eight assists, missing five of his seven shots.

"We actually talked a lot about him today not having the ball in his hand. He didn't get in there and do as much with it, but it wasn't just him," Barnes said. "It was the other guys not moving the ball and guys getting stagnant."

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said he focused so much on stopping Kabongo during the Cowboys' game preparations that he had second thoughts over whether he had been too dismissive of the rest of the Longhorns.

"We put a big emphasis on slowing him down," Ford said. "Their last five games that he's played in, that ball's been in his hands 90 percent of the time. We thought he was a pretty big key to their team."

In the first 16 minutes, Smart didn't score and committed all five of his turnovers. He played a clean game after that, ending up with 11 points, four steals and three assists.