Late in what was obviously going to be a Longhorns victory, Texas students began the chant:
“Where is Marcus? Where is Marcus?”
Meanwhile, Cowboys coach Travis Ford wasn't in a mood to talk about missing Marcus Smart, who was back in Stillwater serving the first game of a three-game suspension for shoving a fan Saturday at Texas Tech.
OSU clearly could have used Smart, its leading scorer and point guard, in the 87-68 loss. But Ford found little positives in wishing and wanting.
“To be honest with you, this has nothing to do with Marcus Smart,” Ford said. “He wasn't here tonight. We've got to play with what we've got. We can't get caught up in any of that.
“I don't really even want to talk about it. It doesn't do us any good. This team has to form its own identity and get out there and play.”
WALK-ONS PROVIDE A BOOST
The Cowboys played walk-ons Christien Sager and Mason Cox — together — at one point in the second half.
And they played with an energy and passion and more, with Sager firing in back-to-back 3-pointers and Cox providing a block, a steal, a rebound and a bucket during one stretch of action.
Back in Stillwater, injured forward Michael Cobbins was fired up on Twitter: “I like it!!! What we need!!”
Sager played a career-high 23 minutes, scoring a career-high seven points and grabbing four rebounds. Cox scored his first career points, to go with three rebounds and two steals in six minutes.
“Any time you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it,” said Cox, an engineering grad student who practices sporadically. “You practice every single day, I've been there for two years, just kind of working on it. You never know when you're going to get in. you're always ready whenever your name is called.
“You work every day and sometimes it pays off.”
Members of the Cox family, seated behind the OSU bench, were snapping photos at every opportunity.
Coming off a two-game road run, the Cowboys return to Gallagher-Iba Arena Saturday for the second round of Bedlam
Tip time is 1 p.m.
Oklahoma won the first meeting, 88-76, in Norman on Jan. 27.
The Sooners are 18-6 overall and 7-4 in the Big 12 entering Wednesday night's home game against Texas Tech.
San Antonio Express-News writer Mike Finger, on the crowd of 7,730 for No. 19-ranked Texas: “Presumably distraught over having once said ‘piece of crap,' 8,000 UT fans banned themselves from tonight's game.”
Texas coach Rick Barnes: “I would have never thought we'd win the way we did. I really feel for Travis and the team. You talk about Murphy's Law, and everything that can go wrong does.”