Other than providing beef for meals across the country Cows aren't good for much else. Unlike horses and dogs, Cows certainly aren't bred to run and that fact was abundantly clear Saturday in the Lloyd Noble Center when Dexter Pittman looked like he needed an oxygen mask and a place to throw up just before the half. Despite Oklahoma having a thin bench it was the Longhorns who couldn't keep up with the pace that Tommy Mason-Griffin setting.
Griffin and Davis led Oklahoma to an 18 point halftime lead and then the Sooners held on while the Longhorns made a late charge. However, it was too late for Texas who, as a matter of perspective, had been buried in too deep of a hole in the first twenty minutes. That was the best half of basketball that the Sooners have played this season and it came against their strongest opponent of the season. However, this win was a little more than just a great first half. There were a few other factors that led to the Sooner surge.
Terrific Guard Play - Texas didn't have a player on the roster that could stay with Tommy Mason-Griffin. Oklahoma's freshman guard torched the Longhorns for 5 three-point shots and finished with a game high 24 points and four assists. Is it possible that Mason-Griffin and Cade Davis are a better guard combo than he and Willie Warren?
"He's good. That's what it comes down to. When I recruited him, this is kind of how I saw him -- a guy that could be very difficult to guard. And he's certainly been that, especially since we started conference play. With the way he shoots the ball and the way he can attack and how strong he is, he should be a guy that gets fouled a lot." - Jeff Capel on Tommy Mason-Griffin
Three-Point Shooting - This goes back to the guards but then again they were the story of the game. Mason-Griffin and Cade Davis were a combined 9-18 from beyond the arch and as a team the Sooners shot 41% from three point range.
Ryan Wright - Possibly the biggest surprise of the day for Oklahoma Wright stepped up to give OU a much needed double-double from a big man. He had 10 boards at the half and finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time.
"He's always played hard for us. He has more opportunity now. He rebounded well for the most part tonight. He gave up some, but he's scoring down there. We tried to really simplify things for him. You just have to have one simple thing and make them stop that. Just play hard and be aggressive, and he's done that. No one deserves it more than him because we don't have a kid in our program that works harder than Ryan Wright." - Jeff Capel
Crowd Control - From celebrating the life and legacy of Wayman Tisdale to chanting "Traitor!" when Damien James touched the ball, Oklahoma's crowd did it all on Saturday.
Texas Sucks! - Well, at least in free throw shooting. The Longhorns were an embarrassing 27% (10-27) from the free throw line. You don't have to look real hard to find a coach who thinks that's a pathetic performance.
"I mean 10-for-27. What else can I say? I mean 10-for-27. I have to truly believe that there's a junior high school team that could do better than that. You know what, I'm not so sure that there are not some other teams in lower level than that. Is it frustrating? It's frustrating because it has been the same in every game this year that we have lost." - Rick Barnes
What The Other Guys Are Saying
The reaction at Burnt Orange Nation after the University of self-enTitlement lost to the lowly Sooners, who didn't even deserve to be on the same floor as the most elite college basketball players in the country (none of which could cover a freshman), has been pretty amusing.
The meltdown started on the game thread as the game closed down and it became evident that the cows would be returning home losing for the fourth time in the last six games.
Then later on in the evening a post was put up criticizing the criticizing.
Of course before the game B.O.N. was beaming in confidence and enjoying the recent struggles of Oklahoma athletics. Hmmmmm, you should always be careful when pointing out how bad an opponent is before you play them because should they beat you...well...that just makes the loss that much worse.
State of the rivalry: It would be too much to say that Texas fans could be fully satisfied by opponent misery alone (one gets the feeling many Aggies certainly could be) but there's no question that Sooner suffering runs a close second to success of our own. Needless to say, the past year has been about as blissful an experience as is possible for Longhorns fans: Though all the near-missing (national runners-up in baseball, volleyball, and football) stings a bit, not only is Texas fielding nationally elite teams across the board -- racking up conference titles, and enjoying enormous success, generally -- but it's coinciding with a discouragingly difficult spell for the hated Sooners. Call it karma for the bullsh** BCS Title Game berth in 2009, as since then the Sooners:
Baseball: Were eliminated by Missouri from their half of the bracket in the Big 12 baseball tournament, and saw #4 seed Wichita State win the Norman Regional.
Football: Lost Sam Bradford and the game to BYU, lost another to Miami, lost for the fourth time in five years to Texas, were relegated to El Paso by their 7-5 season record, and got thoroughly licked by Texas recruiting the state's top talent.
Basketball: Have thus far been thoroughly mediocre without Blake Griffin, having followed two season-opening wins over nobodies with three consecutive losses -- to Virginia Commonwealth, San Diego, and Houston -- and sit at 12-9 (3-4 in Big 12) heading into Saturday's game versus Texas.
In the realm of Longhorn fandom, this is just about as good as it gets.
Really? Just how good was it in the realm of Longhorn fandom on Saturday afternoon? The struggling Sooners were feeling pretty good. Don't look now but that's those same struggling Sooners in your rear view mirror just a game behind in the conference standings. How's that crow taste?