It didn’t matter if he pulled up in transition, off the pass on the wing or spotted up in the corner, the results were all the same for Javan Felix.
No matter where they came from, the shots fell. The stout Louisiana native converted six of his eight 3-point attempts en route to a 27-point showing Tuesday night, leading Texas to an 87-68 victory at the Frank Erwin Center over Oklahoma State.
“I know I can make those shots,” Felix said. “It was just a matter of me taking them. I took my open looks tonight, within the flow of the offense, and it paid off.”
Felix’s shooting performance was highlighted by a stretch midway through the first half when he scored eight points on three-consecutive possessions for the Longhorns. The sophomore guard also opened the second half with back-to-back triples to balloon the Texas lead to 27 and eliminate any possibility of a second-half Cowboy comeback.
Sophomore forward Connor Lammert contributed from the land beyond as well, hitting a few 3-pointers of his own. Lammert got the start in place of junior forward Jonathan Holmes, who was out with a right knee injury, and took advantage of the extra minutes. The San Antonio product had nine boards to go with his nine points.
“[Lammert] showed a lot of guts tonight,” Texas head coach Rick Barnes said. “His ankle was swollen up after rolling it in practice yesterday. The last thing I said to him before the game was that he better shoot it every time he’s open, and he did that tonight.”
The most exciting moment of the game came early in the second frame as freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor pushed the floor in transition and lobbed an alley-oop pass to fellow freshman Martez Walker, who finished it off with a two-handed slam. The hijinks brought the crowd to its feet as Taylor flashed a quick smile before heading back on defense.
“Against Kansas State last game, we were just stagnant,” Walker said. “Tonight, we came out ready, played with intensity and got the results.”
The demoralizing defeats continue to mount for Oklahoma State, who has now lost five straight and six of its last seven games. Combine those struggles with the absence of sophomore superstar Marcus Smart, who will miss the next two games as part of his suspension for pushing a Texas Tech fan, and it’s obvious that the Cowboys aren’t in a good place right now.
As for Texas, the big win was much needed as they head into a tough three-game stretch with Holmes’ status still up in the air. The Longhorns welcome a sizzling-hot West Virginia team this Saturday before hitting the road for a couple contests against Top 25 opponents Iowa St. and Kansas next week.
“I think Holmes will play, but we aren’t going to do anything until the doctors clear him,” Barnes said. “The game against West Virginia will be a physical game. We’ll have to play against their 1-3-1 zone defense and they’re shooting it very well.”