Horns out-tough OSU, 80-69

Sunday, February 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. – Physical toughness got Texas an eight-point lead at halftime at Oklahoma State. Mental toughness down the stretch won the game for the Longhorns.

In front of a typically rowdy crowd of 13,400 at sold-out Gallagher-Iba arena, Texas gutted out an 80-69 victory in overtime.

"This gym brought the energy and we just tried to use it," said guard Chris McColpin, who took over at the point Saturday and kept the unreliable Texas offense in sync.

The Longhorns (19-7, 8-4) easily could have wilted in the hallowed arena, but instead it was Oklahoma State (15-7, 6-5) that lost its first home game all season. After rallying to send the game into overtime tied at 67-67, the Cowboys went 0-for-7 from the field in the extra period.

The biggest misses came with just under three minutes to play and Texas clinging to a 71-69 lead. Oklahoma State's Melvin Sanders made a spectacular steal at midcourt, but the Cowboys' Victor Williams missed the finger-roll layup and Fredrik Jonzen missed the follow shot.

Texas quickly went the other way down court to Maurice Evans for a score, then the Longhorns made seven of their final eight at the line.

"We're always telling our players not to finger roll," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "If you're not going to dunk it, then lay it off the glass. Melvin makes a tremendous play, and Victor goes down and misses. It was a four-point swing."

But it wasn't the only swing, nor the biggest swing, in the game.

Chris Owens almost single-handedly gave Texas a 42-34 halftime lead with 16 points in the first half, most of them by aggressively attacking the basket. Owens had four dunks in the first half and finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Although Owens was a dismal 0-for-7 on free throws, he made up for it by taking advantage of OSU shot blocker Andre Williams with his moves to the basket.

"I knew he was a great leaper, so I would try to give him a head fake every time," Owens said. "If I could make some free throws it would be pretty good."

Owens wasn't the only one struggling at the line. OSU was 5-of-13 in the first half, the same numbers Texas shot in the second half. For the game, the Cowboys shot 50 percent from the line and the Longhorns 58 percent.

Texas grabbed 23 offensive boards to out-rebound OSU, 52-38.