No. 6 Oklahoma 85, Texas 84, OT

Saturday, February 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Texas players had talked about how they didn't like Oklahoma's attitude.

The sixth-ranked Sooners were too cocky. Too much swagger, the Longhorns said.

For good reason.

Oklahoma has owned the Longhorns in recent years and extended its mastery over its border rival with an 85-84 overtime victory Saturday. The Sooners have won six in a row over Texas and 22 of the last 26 in the series.

The Sooners read the comments in Saturday morning's paper and wrote them on their locker room blackboard.

``We really took it hard and it gave all of us a boost,'' guard Quannas White said.

``I don't like the comment,'' said White's backcourt mate, Hollis Price, who led the Sooners with 25 points and provided the key basket in overtime. ``We work hard just like everybody else. We're not an arrogant team. We're not a cocky team.''

The Longhorns nearly snapped the losing streak.

Texas rallied from a 17-point deficit with just over six minutes left to tie it at 74 on Brandon Mouton's catch-and-shoot 3-pointer on an inbounds pass with under a second left.

The Sooners appeared to have it won when Aaron McGhee grabbed the rebound of T.J. Ford's missed 3-pointer with about two seconds left in regulation. But McGhee stepped out of bounds under the basket before time ran out.

Oklahoma called a timeout to set up a defense but Ford zipped the inbounds pass to Mouton in the corner and he swished the shot.

``I knew I could get separation. I was just concentrating on making it,'' said Mouton, who led Texas with a career-high 26 points. ``It was a good pass and a great shot.''

Texas scored first in overtime and the teams traded the lead five times in the extra period. Price's pull-up jumper in the lane with 19 seconds left put the Sooners ahead for good at 83-82. Jason Detrick then hit two free throws that gave the Sooners a three-point lead.

``I knew I would have to make a big play because I hadn't scored in a long time,'' Price said. ``We're finding our groove back. We probably needed a game like this to find out where our toughness is. We didn't expect those guys to play as hard as they did.''

Ebi Ere, White and McGhee each scored 16 points for the Sooners (17-3, 6-2 Big 12), who took sole possession of second place in the conference with the victory.

Royal Ivey added 17 points and James Thomas had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Texas (14-7, 5-3), which has lost three of its last four after a 4-0 start in league play. The Longhorns have dropped consecutive one-point losses.

``I'm not worrying about their psyche. For a young team, we do play hard,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ``We're learning on the job here a little bit.''

The game produced the typical bone-crunching style of play the series is known for. It started even before tipoff when Oklahoma players crowded the Longhorns' team huddle at center court. Players from both teams could be seen trying to elbow each other out of the way.

A 12-1 Texas run punctuated by alley-oop dunks by Mouton and Deginald Erskin put Texas up 27-23 in the first half as the Sooners went nearly six minutes without a field goal.

McGhee ended the offensive drought with a 3-pointer from the corner to retake the lead for Oklahoma and Price closed the first half with five straight points, including a last-second 3 when he broke down Ivey on the dribble and pulled up at the top of the arc to put the Sooners up 33-27.

In the second half, Ere hit two 3s, McGhee converted a three-point play and Price finished two fast break layups in a 10-2 run that pushed the Sooners' lead to 68-51 with 6:31 left.

Brian Boddicker, Ivey and Mouton hit 3-pointers to fuel Texas' late run to tie the game and send it into overtime.