Texas 70, No. 5 Oklahoma St. 61

Saturday, January 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Texas survived a tussle in the stands to once again get the better of Oklahoma State.

Royal Ivey scored 15 points as the Longhorns beat No. 5 Oklahoma State for the fifth straight time, 70-61 Saturday in a game marred by a fight with a fan in the closing seconds.

The trouble started with 18.1 seconds left and the Longhorns leading 70-60. Ivey and T.J. Ford wound up out of bounds while chasing a loose ball, and Ford collided with a pregnant fan. Ford then was grabbed near the throat by a man identified by Oklahoma State officials as the woman's husband.

Ivey grabbed the man and tried to pull him away from Ford. Meanwhile, James Thomas ran in and threw some overhand punches. Brandon Mouton came over late but didn't appear to get involved.

No players were ejected, but Texas (9-4, 1-0 Big 12) was assessed a technical foul because Fredie Williams left the bench.

``I think things did get out of hand,'' Mouton said. ``I don't think that fans should put their hands on players. I think we were all just trying to protect each other and keep things safe.''

The spectator took his wife to the hospital as a precaution, Oklahoma State sports information director Steve Buzzard said, adding that campus police were investigating the fight.

``What the refs told me was, they looked at the tape and definitely T.J. had been put in a headlock by an Oklahoma State student, but they assessed the technical foul because Fredie Williams left the bench, which he can't do,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ``I think when that happened, James and the players went over there and obviously were trying to get him out of there.''

Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said it was an unfortunate end to a good game.

``That's disappointing,'' he said. ``Our fans, I don't care, have got to be better behaved than that.''

The Longhorns have won eight of their past 10 games against Oklahoma State (13-1, 0-1) which played most of the game without leading scorer Maurice Baker. Baker, averaging 18.5 points, strained a groin in practice last weekend and played just 11 minutes, all in the second half. He scored six points.

The Cowboys missed their first eight shots and wound up shooting a season-low 33 percent from the field (21 of 64). They were unable to get their transition game going and missed several open shots while in a halfcourt set.

Oklahoma State also missed 12 of 25 free throws, including seven of nine after rallying from a 10-point deficit to tie the score at 56 with 8:20 left.

``When you can't hit free throws late in the game, you're asking for problems,'' Sutton said.

Victor Williams' 3-pointer tied the score at 56. It was 57-all when Thomas sank two free throws, Ivey hit one of his career-high four 3-pointers, and Thomas scored on a dunk to give the Longhorns a 64-57 lead at the 5:32 mark.

Oklahoma State got no closer than 64-58 after that.

``We got abused today,'' forward Fredrik Jonzen said. ``They out-toughed us in every position. We have to come out and get ready to play. It's pretty embarrassing to lose like this on your home court.''

Thomas and Brandon Mouton scored 13 each for the Longhorns. Williams was the only Cowboys player in double figures with 16.

Williams was all the Cowboys had going early. He scored their first eight points, then Aaron Hill banked home a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma State an 11-7 lead. The Cowboys again led by four later in the half and had a 22-19 lead before Texas outscored them 15-6 in the final five minutes to take a six-point lead at halftime.

Baker started the second half but was clearly slowed by his injury. An 88-percent free-throw shooter, he missed three of four from the line during one stretch.