By Steve Lansdale
NORMAN, Okla. — Sophomore guard Matt Coleman was one of five Longhorns to score in double figures Saturday, but his potential game-winning three-point shot with less than a second left was blocked, sealing a 69-67 Oklahoma victory over Texas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.
With the loss, Texas fell to 15-12 overall and 7-7 in games against Big 12 teams, while OU improved to 17-10 overall, and 5-9 in conference games. The teams split the two games this season; Texas beat Oklahoma, 75-72, at home.
Saturday’s loss was UT’s first in its last four meetings with the Sooners, and was the Longhorns’ fifth in eight games that have been decided by three or fewer points.
With his team leading by two points, OU’s Kristian Doolittle’s free throw rimmed out, and into the waiting hands of Texas forward Dylan Osetkowski, who handed the ball off to Coleman, who dribbled upcourt and tried to hit the game-winning shot.
Sophomore guard Jase Febres led the Texas offense with 15 points. All of his points came from long range, as he connected on 5 of 15 shots from behind the three-point line.
Joining Febres and Colman in double figures were Osetkowski (13 points), forward Jaxson Hayes (12) and guard Courtney Ramey, who matched Coleman’s 11 points. Coleman scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the 28th time in his career. Osetkowski cracked double figures in the scoring column for the 14th time this season, and 39th in his career.
Hayes was particularly effective, missing just one of his six field goal attempts, while adding six rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots.
That the Longhorns had a chance to win on Coleman’s last-second heave was remarkable, considering they trailed by 17 points, 50-33, with 16:21 to go in the second half. But they cut the deficit to six points with 5:29 remaining on back-to-back field goals by Coleman and Hayes. A Febres three-pointer shaved the margin down to 67-64, and another Febres bucket from long range made it a two-point game, at 69-67, with 53 seconds left.
Texas stays on the road for its next game, tipping off against Baylor in Waco at 8 p.m., Wednesday in a game that can be seen nationally on ESPN2.