Austin, TX – Entering Saturday losing seven of their last eight games, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were unable to reverse their fortune with a 69-57 loss to the Texas Longhorns. The two teams split the season series with each winning on their home floors. The Longhorns are now 12-2 on the year when scoring 69 points or more.
The Cowboys were able to jump out to an early lead scoring what proved to be their only fast break points of the day on back-to-back possessions. Texas would settle down offensively which ultimately led a 19-7 scoring run to end the half. Early foul trouble led to Oklahoma State having to play a smaller lineup for the latter half of the first period.
In the second half, the teams traded scoring runs throughout the first 10 minutes of the period. The Cowboys were able to pull within six points before their offense sputtered down the stretch. The Longhorns’ athleticism and length were just too much to overcome as Oklahoma State closed the game making just two of their final 11 shots.
Oklahoma State’s recent struggles continued during Saturday’s contest tying a season low in team assists (9) while also losing the rebounding battle for the sixth straight game. Throughout the game, Texas was able to get to the rim fairly consistently against the Cowboy defense scoring 32 points in the paint. In addition, the Longhorns were able to get solid contributions from their bench outscoring Oklahoma State 16-2 in bench points.
Although the Cowboys converted 34.8 percent of their three-point attempts, the majority of those conversions came from Thomas Dziagwa. Known for his sharpshooting at Oklahoma State, Dziagwa has a unusual shot motion in that the ball’s trajectory is more horizontal then vertical alongside the movement of his guide hand. Regardless, he is incredibly effective shooter from deep range connecting on 7-of-11 shots. He is a solid cutter and moves well around the court. Defensively, Dziagwa has good size for his position, but has a tendency to get caught leaning or flat-footed allowing his opponent to get the advantage.
The clear playmaker and primary ball handler for the Cowboys, Isaac Likekele plays with confidence when the ball is in his hands. An under-utilized shooter, Likekele has a compact shot motion in which his elbow position sits near the middle of his chest. He plays with high energy and isn’t afraid to dive for loose balls. In addition, Likekele has the strength at his size to defend and overpower larger opponents.
Texas guard Kerwin Roach was aggressive offensively throughout Saturday’s contest. Scoring much of his points near the rim, Roach was able to use his athleticism and quick burst to get into advantageous positions around the court. In addition, Roach was tasked with chasing Dziagwa around screens for much of the game and still led his team in scoring. Roach doesn’t have great length for his position but makes up for it with his athleticism.
Texas (15-11) will head north to take on the Oklahoma Sooners next Saturday (2/23). Oklahoma State (9-16) will head home to take on TCU on Monday (2/18) evening.