Durant’s late three carries Texas to Big 12 final
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Kevin Durant scored a game-high 26
points, pulled down eight rebounds and hit the go-ahead three-pointer in the
final minute, as 15th-ranked Texas advanced to the Big 12 Conference final
with a 69-64 win over Oklahoma State at the Ford Center.
Durant made 11-of-24 shots from the field, including 2-of-6 from three-point
distance as Texas (24-8), advanced to play top-seeded Kansas for the title on
A.J. Abrams added 20 points, but was only 5-of-16 shooting. D.J. Augustin
contributed 15 points in the win for the Longhorns.
JamesOn Curry had a team-high 24 points and Mario Boggan chipped in with 21
points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma State (22-12).
The Longhorns have won eight of their last nine games heading into Sunday’s
final with the only defeat in that stretch coming to the Jayhawks, 90-86, on
March 3. It will be a rematch from last year, when Kansas beat Texas, 80-68,
in the title game.
Oklahoma came out in the second half to score the first seven points and
following a layup by Boggan, took a brief 32-31 lead. However, Texas answered
back with a 7-0 spurt of its own to reclaim the lead at 38-32 with 16:19
remaining in the contest.
Texas managed to keep the Cowboys at an arm’s length until the last 1 1/2
minutes of play, but Curry’s jumper with 1:28 tied the contest at 61.
Following a missed jump shot by Augustin and an offensive rebound by
James, Durant hit a three-pointer with 46.3 seconds left to put the Longhorns
up for good, 64-61. Oklahoma State then turned the ball over, and Abrams made
four free throw in the closing seconds to seal the victory for Texas.
The Cowboys jumped out of the gate early and following a layup by Boggan, held
an early 8-2 lead in the first five minutes of the contest.
However, Texas was able to come back and mount a nice run of its own and tied
the contest at 16 midway through period following an Abrams three-pointer.
The game then went on the see-saw until the later stages of the stanza and
with Oklahoma State holding a 25-23 lead, Durant’s three-point play gave Texas
a 26-25 advantage. Durant then hit a three-pointer and Abrams added a pair of
free throws to increase the Longhorns’ lead to 31-25 heading into the
Marcus Dove scored four points and had a game-high 12 rebounds and Byron Eaton
chipped in with four points and six assists in defeat for Oklahoma
State…James ended with three points and five rebounds for Texas…Texas shot
only 37.7 percent from the field in the contest, while Oklahoma State made
43.9 percent of its shots.