Sunday , Mar , 05 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Texas can claim share of Big 12 title with win over Oklahoma

(Sports Network) – The 19th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the sixth-ranked
Texas Longhorns close out the regular season with a much-anticipated
Big 12 Conference clash. If the Sooners are victorious this afternoon they
would be the second seed in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament. If they lose,
they will be the third seed. Oklahoma has been idle since a February 27th
victory over Oklahoma State, 67-66, that extended the team’s current winning
streak to four games.

As for Texas, it can break the program’s all-time record for regular season
wins. The Longhorns need a victory in today’s contest to claim a share of the
Big 12 regular season title, as Kansas closed out its schedule
yesterday with a 13-3 league mark. Texas appeared to be on its way to winning
the crown outright, but a shocking 46-43 loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday
changed things in a hurry. Oklahoma owns a commanding 45-21 all-time lead over
Texas, and an 82-72 triumph over the Longhorns earlier this season was the
third in a row for the Sooners in the series.

Oklahoma does not rely on one or two players to get the job done at the
offensive end. Rather, the squad possesses four standout performers and a
bunch of role players all capable of contributing on a regular basis. Taj Gray
is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Sooners, as he is posting 14.6 ppg
and 7.8 rpg. Michael Neal adds 13.3 ppg to the mix on 43.2 percent shooting
from three-point range, and Terrell Everett is scoring 12.6 ppg to go along
with his 176 assists. The fourth and final double-digit scorer is Kevin
Bookout, a rugged forward who is averaging 11.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg.

In the win over Oklahoma State last time out, Gray posted 19 points to
pace his team. Bookout scored 14 points, Everett added 13 points and Nate
Carter managed 12points. The Sooners connected on 50 percent of their field
goal attempts, an obvious reason that they were able to overcome 19 turnovers.

Texas is a dangerous offensive team with a number of talented contributors,
and it was surprising to see the squad completely shut down by Texas A&M on
Wednesday. The Longhorns connected on only 34.2 percent of their field goal
attempts in the clash and finished with 11 assists against 18 turnovers. They
held the Aggies to 32.7 percent overall shooting, but the strong defensive
showing wasn’t enough to avoid defeat. P.J. Tucker was the only player to
reach double figures in scoring for Texas, as the standout forward managed 11

Tucker is averaging 16.2 ppg to pace a balance attack, and he is tied with
LaMarcus Aldridge for the rebounding lead with 9.0 rpg. Aldridge is
posting 15.6 ppg to go along with 59 blocks, and Daniel Gibson checks in with
13.6 ppg. Brad Buckman adds 10.4 ppg for Texas, which is netting 76.6 ppg
while holding opponents to 59.1 ppg on 37.5 percent shooting from the field.