Heading into Saturday's matchup in Stillwater, Texas had lost 3 of their last 4 games, a trend they hoped to reverse against an Oklahoma State team coming off a road loss to TCU. Instead of a bounce-back game, the questions for the Longhorns continued to mount as they turned in their worst offensive performance of the season in a 75-67 double overtime loss to the Cowboys.
The Longhorns' offense has had their ups and downs throughout the season, but nothing compared to the struggles they experienced on Saturday afternoon. Texas had their worst shooting performance of the Shaka Smart era, connecting on only 25.3% of their shots from the field and an abysmal 14.3% of their shots from three point range. Guards Courtney Ramey, Matt Coleman and Andrew Jones combined to go 10 for 49 (20.4%) from the field. The big men did not fare much better, with Greg Brown and Jericho Sims combining for only 12 points on 5 of 15 (33.3%) shooting. The Longhorns were able to keep Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham in check for most of the game, holding the freshman to 19 points and 8 rebounds on 5 of 22 shooting, but were unable to capitalize on repeated open looks on the offensive end to compliment their strong defense.
After trailing 35-29 heading into halftime, the Longhorns responded with a strong second half to prevent the Cowboys from pulling away. After forcing a missed three pointer from Cunningham to send the game to overtime with 9 seconds left to send the game to overtime, the Longhorns appeared to have momentum heading into the extra session. Brock Cunningham forced a steal with 50 seconds remaining in the first overtime to give Texas a chance to take the lead late, but Courtney Ramey's jumper was blocked by Bryce Williams, giving the ball back to the Cowboys. Cade Cunningham followed up with another missed jumper but forced a steal on an inbounds pass following a timeout to send the game to a second overtime. The second extra period was dominated by Oklahoma State, with the Cowboys outscoring Texas 10-2 to secure the win.
The loss is the 4th for Texas in the last 5 games and drops the Longhorns record to 5-4 in Big 12 play and 11-5 overall. The win keeps Oklahoma State's NCAA tournament hopes alive and improves their record to 12-5 on the season and 5-5 in big 12 play.
If it wasn't obvious the previous 4 games, it is officially safe to say Texas is going through a rough patch right now and now faces perhaps the defining moment in their season. The Longhorns have gone from a projected 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament to a 4 or 5 seed, and they still have a handful of very tough games remaining. The most concerning aspect for Texas is their lack of offense. Greg Brown is seemingly disappearing in key stretches and the Longhorns' guards have been unable to knock down shots when given repeated opportunities. In previous seasons, Shaka Smart's offenses have seen severe drop-offs as Big 12 play has gone on. This year seems to be headed in a similar direction, and the Longhorns have to stop the bleeding if they hope to return to their early season form.
Texas will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Manhattan to face Kansas State. Tip off is set for 7 PM and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.