January 17, 2007

Breaking down last night's epic battle

On another freezing night in Stillwater, Gallagher-Iba Arena was anything but cold as two of the Big 12 basketball powers hooked up and played one of the best games in conference history. The Texas Longhorns entered the game 3-0 in Big 12 play riding the stellar performances of Kevin Durant.

Even with another sensational performance by Durant, the Longhorns came up just short falling 105-103 to the Cowboys on a three-pointer by Mario Boggan. It was a game of thrilling shots that was not for the faint of heart. While the black and white result is a first conference loss for the No. 21 Longhorns, the young team displayed the type of heart and emotion that fans of a program can get behind.

THE GOOD

The Texas Longhorns displayed the type of heart and character that any coach is looking for in a team on the road in a hostile environment. In a game of big shots and quick spurts of momentum change in each overtime period, the Longhorns never backed down answering the Cowboys with big shots and key plays.

A key stretch that showed that determination was in the third overtime period with Oklahoma State up 98-93. After a Durant free throw cut the lead to four, the Longhorns got the ball back in a must score situation with time ticking away. After a good defensive possession by the Cowboys, Justin Mason hit a huge three in the right corner over the outstretched arms of a Cowboy defender. The three by Mason cut the lead to 98-97.

Mario Boggan answered Mason's shot with a contested 16-footer giving Oklahoma State a 100-97 lead. On the next Longhorn possession, Durant missfired on a three, but D.J. Augustin grabbed the offensive rebound. Augustin missed a three of his own, but Connor Atchley ran down the long offensive rebound and hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 100-100.

A pair of JamesOn Curry free throws put the Cowboys up 102-100 again setting the stage for a Longhorn to answer. After a floater by A.J. Abrams came up short, Durant slid around David Monds to grab the Longhorns' 24th offensive rebound of the night. A score, foul and free throw followed to give the Longhorns a 103-102 lead.

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