Kabongo Leads Texas Past Oklahoma

Kabongo Leads Texas Past Oklahoma

Myck Kabongo scored a career-high 32 points as Texas defeated Oklahoma 92-86 in overtime in the biggest come-from-behind victory in the Rick Barnes era.

Oklahoma led by 22 when Amath M'Baye dunked and threw the "Horns Down" sign to boos from the Frank Erwin Center crowd. Teammate Romero Osby ran toward M'Baye to try and calm him down, citing the need to "win with class." After all, at that point, with less than eight minutes remaining, the game wasn't in doubt.

But in the ensuing timeout, Texas elected to go with a full-court pressure. And the Longhorns clawed their way back by repeatedly turning over the Sooners, whose primary weakness is their lack of steady ball-handlers. The Longhorns went on a 19-3 run over the next five minutes, cutting the lead to six.

Still, the Sooners appeared to be in a great spot when Sam Grooms hit two free throws with 16 seconds left, putting Oklahoma up by four. Texas ran a play to get Sheldon McClellan an open look in the corner. The opening wasn't there, but Steven Pledger was whistled for a foul on McClellan's three-point attempt, giving the wing three free throws. McClellan made all three, cutting the advantage to one point. Jaylen Bond fouled Osby, who made one-of-two freebies.

And so regulation came down to one play, with Texas having the ball down two with six seconds remaining. Kabongo pushed the ball to his left to try and hand the ball off to McClellan, but when that option wasn't open, Kabongo veered back to the right. He didn't have a lane, and was bumped by M'Baye, but still managed to get off a last-second heave that fell through the net as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

"We needed to make a play," Kabongo said. "And I made a play at the end and it went in."

"I prayed," joked Ioannis Papapetrou of the shot, quipping that he would have been blamed for running into Kabongo had the shot not gone in.

It was the third time Texas has had a late clutch shot force overtime at the Erwin Center this year. Jonathan Holmes made a last-second three-pointer to tie a game against West Virginia, and earlier this month, Papapetrou made a three to send the Iowa State game into overtime.

The Longhorns carried all the momentum into overtime and led for most of the extra period, closing things out with a 7-2 run in the final 1:19.

Texas has played five overtime games this year. The Longhorns were 0-3 in those games without Kabongo, and are now 2-0 with Kabongo.

Kabongo scored 24 points on 7-of-7 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line in the final 7:38 of regulation and overtime. He finished with a 32-point, eight-rebound, six-assist, four-steal night. McClellan had 17 points and eight boards. DeMarcus Holland had 10 points.

Osby scored 29 points against Texas in Norman, and he followed that Longhorn slaying with another 31 points in Austin. Pledger made his first five three-point attempts in the first half, but he made just 1-of-7 the rest of the way. He finished with 18 points. M'Baye had 16 points.

The Sooners built their huge advantage thanks in large part to a boffo first half that saw Oklahoma hit 70.8 percent of its shots from the field and 7-of-9 from three-point range. Many of those shots were uncontested.

"We weren't great defensively," Barnes said. "But they still made those shots."

In the second half, Texas forced nine Sooner turnovers, scoring 17 points off those miscues in the comeback. And in overtime, the lone Oklahoma turnover led to a Kabongo lay-up that put Texas up for good.

Oklahoma is now 18-9 and 9-6 in Big 12 play. Texas is 13-15 and 5-10. The Longhorns will next travel to face Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

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