Texas 81, Texas A&M 60
Oklahoma State 96, Iowa State 87 (OT)
First thoughts: You have to feel really good if you like UT. The Longhorns had as good of a game as could be expected, taking it to A&M from the beginning and forcing the Aggies to play from behind for 40 minutes. Justin had written here before the game that Jordan Hamilton and Khris Middleton were the obvious guys to make a difference, and they did.
Middleton had another nice game, leading A&M with 16 points and tying for the team lead of 5 rebounds. But Hamilton was excellent, hitting 10 of 14 shots for 27 points (one point short of his season high).
Key stretch: Texas won this game with a couple of good runs, most significantly a 16-4 beatdown to open the game. A&M coach Mark Turgeon received a technical following a foul call on Naji Hibbert (A&M’s 9th) seven minutes into the game. Texas’ four free throws made it 20-4. A&M limited the gap to 12 points at halftime, but that is a considerable deficit on the road.
What’s next: In a word, hype. Texas (15-3) now heads to Lawrence to meet unbeaten Kansas. The winner is the league’s new team to beat. Kansas has looked vulnerable at home so far this year, and will need a big game from more than the Morris twins to win. Similarly, somebody other than Hamilton must get some buckets for Texas. He got 28 in a 68-66 loss to Pitt earlier this year at the Garden, and Kansas rebounds well just as Pitt does.
A&M (16-2) heads back home to play a reeling Kansas State team. That’s followed by a road trip to Nebraska and, oddly enough, a rematch with Texas already. Remember, A&M has only one league loss, tied with Colorado for 3rd place in the league.
OSU-ISU: The Cowboys held off Iowa State in Stillwater last night to keep a game’s lead in the conference standings. OSU is 2-2 in Big 12 after the overtime victory. ISU falls to 1-3.Iowa State played only seven guys, including Diante Garrett who never came out in 45 minutes. He, Jake Anderson, Jamie Vanderbeken and Scott Christopherson all played a lot of minutes and provided a lot of offense to keep up with OSU.
For OSU, JP Olukemi had a huge game (29 points and eight rebounds). The team’s horse, Marshall Moses, also played all but 5 minutes and had a double-double.
This turned out to be a big win for Oklahoma State because it’s tough to rally through the league play starting out 1-3. Props to both teams for a competitive game and a lot of work put in for one night.