Texas triumphs on somber anniversary

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Check Stillwater off as another tough road environment in which Texas thrived.

The seventh-ranked Longhorns (17-3, 5-0 Big 12) remained undefeated in conference play after beating Oklahoma State (14-6, 2-4) 61-46 in another emotional game.

Oklahoma State honored the 10-year anniversary of the plane crash which killed 10 members of the Cowboys’ men’s basketball program in 2001.

With tensions high at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Longhorns held Oklahoma State to 32 percent shooting on Wednesday.

Texas’ defense frustrated the Cowboys throughout the game. Led by Dogus Balbay, the Longhorns limited OSU to its lowest point total of the season.

“I told the team I thought he was the single biggest difference for us with what he did in terms of trying to disrupt things,” said head coach Rick Barnes.

Balbay did not allow Oklahoma State’s second-leading scorer, Keiton Page, to score. On the other end of the court, Balbay scored double-digit points for the second time this season with 10 — all in the first half.

“He is a great example of someone who may not be the best scorer in the world, but he affects the game in a lot of ways,” said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford.

Freshman Tristan Thompson made up for Balbay’s lack of scoring in the second half, where he earned all 14 of his points.

The game went back and forth throughout the first 20 minutes. A Jordan Hamilton 3-pointer with only a second remaining gave the Longhorns a seven-point lead going into the break.

Fresh off the intermission, Hamilton converted on another three-point attempt on the first possession of the second half to extend the lead to 10.

The Longhorns never looked back, and Hamilton finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Cowboys were led by forward Marshall Moses who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. J.P. Olukemi added 13 points for the ’Pokes.

The win was the second consecutive for the Longhorns going into a difficult but somber arena. Texas’ win over Kansas last Saturday came just hours after the mother of KU forward Thomas Robinson passed away.

On Wednesday, the families of those who died in the plane crash were in attendance. Former Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton and players Desmond Mason and Doug Gottlieb spoke at halftime. Both teams wore T-shirts commemorating the anniversary of the plane crash.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing that Oklahoma State is keeping the memory where it should be, because it was a tragedy, it really is,” Barnes said.