STILLWATER — Oklahoma State scored the most points and posted best shooting percentage it has had in four games, but it still couldn’t get the first Big 12 Conference win of the season Wednesday against Texas.
The Cowboys shot 40% overall from the field and also from 3-point range after shooting 11%, 5% and 33% from deep in the previous three games.
OSU is now 2-7 in its last nine games and is one of two Big 12 teams (Kansas State) without a league victory.
Texas still won 76-64 behind 48% shooting to hand OSU its fourth consecutive loss.
Shooting has been a major problem for the Cowboys (9-7, 0-4) as of late. OSU hadn’t scored more than 50 points since its 82-31 win against Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 29.
Lindy Waters III and Thomas Dziagwa combined to go 4-of-7 from deep against the Longhorns to help OSU finish 6-of-15 from the 3-point line.
“From a mentality standpoint, I feel like they played more confidently on the offensive end,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said about his team. “And now we’ve got to go back and figure out where the breakdowns were defensively to try to be ready for the next time we face them.”
Texas (12-4, 2-2) won the shooting battle, going 15-of-32 on 3-pointers to nearly double its season average of 8.3 made 3-pointers a game. Texas’ 62% shooting from the floor in the second half helped the Longhorns overcome a 47% shooting second half by OSU.
The Cowboys are known for their stingy defense, but it was Texas that finished the night with 11 blocks. Five Longhorns scored in double figures, with Kamaka Hepa scoring a game-high 15 points.
“At the end of the day, defense is our calling card at Oklahoma State,” Dziagwa said. “That’s what coach Mike preaches to us and that’s what we’ve been working on. If defense is your calling card and you give up that many points, it’s not really what you want.”
Kalib Boone played a career-high 21 minutes on his way to scoring a career-high 12 points and he added seven rebounds to lead OSU in both categories. Boone was the only OSU player to score in double figures.
Texas went on an early 14-4 run to start the second half that stretched the Longhorns lead to 45-29 and held their largest lead of 50-33 with 13:02 left. The Cowboys had a few offensive sparks in the second half that helped cut the Texas lead to 61-55 with 5:07 remaining.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by the Longhorns’ Hepa and Courtney Ramey pushed the lead back to 12 with 3:26 left and OSU couldn’t claw its way back.
OSU opened the game shooting 1-of-8 and 0-of-3 from 3-point range, which helped the Longhorns hold a 29-17 lead with 4 minutes left in the first half. The Cowboys cut the Texas lead to 31-25 by halftime with Chris Harris Jr. scoring the last five points of the half on a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer.
OSU ended the half shooting 3-of-7 from deep with Dziagwa going 2-of-3 in the first half. The 25 points were the most first-half points scored by OSU since it scored 30 points in the first half of the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech. The improved scoring still wasn’t enough.