In his short postgame press conference on Wednesday night, Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford talked mostly about the Longhorns and how polished they looked.
He would know — Texas shot its second-lowest field-goal percentage of Big 12 competition, making 25 of 57 from the floor, but still crushed the Cowboys 73-55 to set a new school record for consecutive Big 12 wins.
“We just got beat by a better team tonight,” Ford said.
Texas (23-3, 11-0 Big 12) outrebounded the competition 39-34. The Longhorns have now outrebounded every conference opponent, but Wednesday was the closest margin on the glass since facing Texas Tech almost two weeks ago.
Gary Johnson scored 17 points for Texas while Jordan Hamilton finished with 15. Hamilton scored all of his points in the first half while Johnson scored the majority of his in the second.
Markel Brown led Oklahoma State (16-9, 4-7) with 14 points while Matt Pilgrim added four points and 14 rebounds.
Marshall Moses, the Cowboys’ leading scorer, picked up three fouls in the first half and played only 15 minutes total. He fouled out with 7:03 to play and 10 points.
The Cowboys missed six of their first eight shots, went 35.7 percent from the floor and committed 17 turnovers.
“You just can’t go on the road and shoot our percentage,” Ford said.
Texas hasn’t trailed in a game since last playing OSU on Jan. 26, but the Cowboys got within three points in the first half.
Oklahoma State owned a four-rebound advantage after the first 20 minutes and outscored the Longhorns 18-6 in the paint that period. Still, the Cowboys trailed by 11 at the break.
“That was one thing I pointed out to the team at halftime,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes, referring to the scoring in the paint.
In the second half, Texas boosted its lead with some quick baskets, including nine straight points by Johnson in 2:27. Instead of slowing down, as they have been lately, the Longhorns sped up in the second half, widening the lead to 24 at one point.
“In the second half of every game, we’ve kind of let up because of our lead,” Hamilton said.
It seemed like whenever Oklahoma State scored, Johnson or Cory Joseph had an answer, as the latter finished with 11 points.
“Our biggest concern is trying to keep our foot on the pedal,” Johnson said.
Barnes estimated he got better production in the closing minutes because of his greater usage of substitutes — every player logged at least 11 minutes and six had at least 20.
“Those are the guys that we wanted up and we know we’re going to need them,” Barnes said. “The fact that they haven’t played as much over some games but were able to be ready and go back in tonight, goes back to their maturity.”