Texas rips Oklahoma, grabs share of Big 12, No. 1 seed

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- It's been seven years since Texas won a

basketball title. Even the 2003 team that made it to the Final Four

didn't win the Big 12.

That drought ended Sunday with a 72-48 win over Oklahoma (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP),

a victory that earned Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) a share of the conference

championship and the No. 1 seed in the league tournament.

Daniel Gibson scored 22 points, hitting four of Texas' nine

3-pointers, in a rivalry game the Longhorns turned into a rout.

"It feels good to hold that trophy," said Gibson, who also had

six assists by driving to the basket when he wasn't spotting up

from long range.

"Killer instinct," he said. "Whoever was in front of me, I

was going after them."

Texas (25-5, 13-3) shares the Big 12 title with Kansas, a team

the Longhorns beat by 25 a week earlier. They get the top seed in

the conference tournament because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

P.J. Tucker added 13 points for the Longhorns, who went

undefeated in conference play at home. Texas set a school record

for most wins in a regular season and ended a three-game losing

streak to the Sooners.

Taj Gray scored 10 to lead Oklahoma (20-7, 11-5). Michael Neal,

who came in averaging five 3-pointers over the previous six games,

finished with two for six points.

"We locked into their shooters," Tucker said. "We played

great defensive ball."

The Sooners, who had won four straight games by one point,

surprisingly never mustered a counterpunch in a rivalry known for

its rugged play.

"We've earned our stripes over the years by outcompeting you. I

didn't see that a lot today," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said.

"When one team is competing really hard and the other one is not,

that's a huge difference."

Texas could have won the Big 12 title outright after beating

Kansas, but blundered away the chance with a 46-43 loss at Texas

A&M. Tucker dribbled out the shot clock to set up A&M's winning

shot in the final second.

Given another chance at the title, the Longhorns never let this

one get close.

Gibson has struggled with streaky shooting and tendinitis in his

knee but hit three 3-pointers in the first half. The Longhorns

defense forced eight turnovers and held Oklahoma without a basket

during a 10-minute stretch.

"My pops always told me never make excuses," Gibson said. "A

lot of times when that ball goes up, all that pain goes out the


In the first meeting with the Sooners, an 82-72 Oklahoma win,

the Longhorns got no points off their bench. Guard A.J. Abrams

ended that drought with two 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes of

the first half.

The Longhorns hit 6-of-12 from long range to take a 33-23 lead

into halftime.

"We took shots," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "And we were


Sooners forward Kevin Bookout hit the first basket of the

second. It was the last time Oklahoma got the lead under 10. Tucker

hit a leaning bank shot high off the backboard. Brad Buckman, a

sneaky 3-point shooter at power forward, stepped to the top of the

arc for Texas' first 3 of the second half as Texas run quickly

pushed the lead back to 16.

Texas then started going inside.

LaMarcus Aldridge hit a baseline jumper and Gibson finished a

fast break with a dish to Buckman for a two-handed dunk over two


Sampson might have missed the play. Complaining that Buckman

wasn't called for a foul on the other end the floor, Sampson was

flailing his arms and inadvertently knocked one of the officials

into the scorer's table just as Buckman went up for the slam that

put Texas up 47-31.

The Sooners outrebounded Texas 28-27 but couldn't fight their

way back in the game.

"They kind of hit us right in the mouth," Bookout said, "and

we never hit them back."

Gibson hit his fourth 3-pointer from the corner, then added a

pair of free throws. Tucker drove the baseline to draw three

defenders before shooting a pass out to Abrams for another 3. Texas

led 57-35 with 7:40 to play.

From there, it was a matter of nursing the lead through the

final minutes. Gibson coasted in for two easy layups then dumped a

pass behind a defender to feed another dunk, this time by Aldridge.

Texas heads into the Big 12 tournament still hoping for a shot

at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns were a No. 1

seed when they went to the Final Four.