Last night’s win in Norman brings the Texas Longhorns’ winning streak to 4 games.Â The Longhorns haven’t won this many games in a row since the Southland Conference portion of their schedule early.Â This year’s Texas team is doing something a Rick Barnes team hasn’t done in a long time.Â It’s peaking at the right time.Â Last year’s team peaked at the beginning of Big 12 play, the 09-10 team peaked at the beginning of the season, and the 08-09 team peaked towards the end of non conference play.Â For all the early season headaches this year’s team has given Longhorn fans, it seems as if they are finally becoming a good basketball team.
Last night’s game started the same way most of Texas’ games on the road have started this season, with Texas’ opponents shooting a high percentage from the field, and the Longhorns struggling to score.Â Lon Kruger’s zone worked early on, and Texas fell behind early.Â The encouraging thing about the slow start was that Texas wasn’t settling for long, contested 3s like they have been doing against zones the entire season.Â Instead, the Texas guards were attacking gaps in the zone and wereÂ being aggressive going to the basket.Â Texas quickly closed the OU gap, but quick run saw OU break the game open late in the 1st half.Â The Sooners opened up an 8 point lead, but a Sheldon McClellan 3 point play to end the half saw the Longhorns go to the break only down 5.Â True to form, Texas came out on fire in the 2nd half.Â J’Covan Brown found his jumpshot and hit 3 straight 3s to put the Longhorns ahead for good.Â The birthday boy, Brown finished with 19 points after a slow start.Â Texas used timely steals and good free throw shooting to keep their lead down the stretch.Â Brown, Holmes, Kabongo and McClellan were all perfect from the free throw line.Â Even though the final margin was 11, Texas needed every 1 of its made free throws, as late misses could have ignited the crowd and given life to OU.
What Lies Ahead for Texas:
The 2nd game of Oklahoma week in Stillwater against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.Â Stillwater has proven to be one of the toughest places to play in the Big 12 this year, as the Cowboys have knocked off 2 of the Big 12’s top 4 teams in Stillwater this year.Â Texas will need to start faster than they have been starting this season.Â A strong 2nd half might not be enough to overcome a poor 1st half in Stillwater, as the crowd will already be behind the Cowboys at that point.
Keys to Success for Texas:
– Start fast: Texas cannot afford another slow start in Stillwater on Saturday.Â Oklahoma State is a different team in Stillwater.Â Texas will need to come out at their best if they want to win.
– Make shots: Texas only shot 39% from the field and 26% from 3 last night against Oklahoma.Â The Longhorns will need to shoot a higher percentage on Saturday and the rest of the season.Â The low shooting percentage against Oklahoma was disappointing because the Longhorns missed so many easy shots around the basket.Â They need to fix that moving foward.
– Stay hungry: 4 in a row is good, but 5 in a row is better.Â Texas still isn’t squarely in the tournament.Â Every win makesÂ the Longhorns’ resume a little bit more attractive.
– Myck KabongoÂ paced the LonghornsÂ with 13 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds
– J’Covan Brown scored a game high 19 points ‘
– Sheldon McClellan added 13 points and 5 rebounds off the bench