Despite two clutch jumpers from Kendall Smith in the final minute of action, Kerwin Roach II had the last laugh to give Texas a 65-64 win over Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon in Austin. Roach II made his way into the paint for a game-winning layup with 1.2 seconds left, as Oklahoma State still has not won two consecutive games in Big 12 play.
Texas had all the momentum with 2:40 left in the game after a Jacob Young 3-pointer gave the Longhorns a 59-55 lead. The Cowboys battled back as Smith put Oklahoma State on top, 60-59, with 53 seconds left in the game. Texas answered back with a bucket, but Smith again was there when the Cowboys needed a response, as Oklahoma State led 64-63 with 22 seconds left.
With Texas settling for the final shot, Oklahoma State was in good defensive position with five seconds left, but Roach II simply attacked the basket and finished with his left hand to send Texas out on top.
Oklahoma State raced out to a 7-0 start before Texas took the lead midway through the first half. From there the two teams evenly battled it out, but Texas did hold the lead for the final 7:52 of the half. Jeffrey Carroll nailed a contested, and much needed, 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Texas lead to 33-28 at halftime.
Oklahoma State started the second half on a 17-2 run which opened up a 10-point lead. Despite going cold from the field, the Cowboys went over 11 minutes without trailing. The final three minutes were exciting for both teams but ultimately heartbreaking for Oklahoma State.
Carroll was much of the offense for much of the night, finishing with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Lindy Waters III provided the majority of Oklahoma State’s 3-point shooting, nailing four 3s and scoring 14 points. Smith finished with nine points as he was held in check for most of the night. But seven of his nine came in the game’s final 2:09, proving once again how deadly he can be in big moments. Mitchell Solomon played well and finished with a game-high 10 rebounds — five of which were offensive.
At 16-13, Oklahoma State plays at Iowa State on Tuesday before hosting Kansas on Saturday to close out the regular season. Win both of those games and make a semifinal or championship run in the Big 12 tournament and who knows what will happen. But that’s a lot to ask out of a team that hasn’t won back to back Big 12 games all year long.