No. 7 Men's Basketball tops Oklahoma State, 61-46
Jan. 26, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Texas figured the best way it could show respect for its last two grieving opponents was to come out ready to win.
First came a victory against then-No. 2 Kansas as the Jayhawks were mourning the death of a player's mother.
Then, Tristan Thompson scored all 14 of his points in the second half and the seventh-ranked Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 61-46 Wednesday night as the Cowboys marked the 10-year anniversary of a plane crash that killed 10 people with ties to the basketball program.
"It's tough for both sides," Texas' Dogus Balbay said. "The fans are going to come and they're going to be emotional. The Oklahoma State team is going to be emotional as well. For us, too, it's really tough, it's really sad.
"But the only way we could honor those people was coming here and playing hard."
The Longhorns (17-3, 5-0 Big 12) wore the same orange "Remember the 10" T-shirts as Oklahoma State during warmups, then deployed the same stiff defense that has provided them a perfect start to conference play.
Jordan Hamilton added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Texas, which held its first four Big 12 opponents to 55.2 points per game. The Longhorns did even better while limiting the Cowboys (14-6, 2-4) to their lowest scoring output of the season on 32 percent shooting.
Marshall Moses had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead Oklahoma State, which held a reunion for families of the men killed in the crash and retired the No. 10 jersey during a halftime ceremony. The 10th anniversary of the crash of one of the team planes on the way back from a road game at Colorado is Thursday.
"I wish we could have played better for those people and for all the people that took the time to come out for the tribute," Moses said. "But it had nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that Texas just beat us tonight in our home gym."
Families of eight of the 10 killed returned to Stillwater for the reunion, and former coach Eddie Sutton and three former players addressed the crowd at halftime.
"It doesn't seem like it's been 10 years, although there's some days that it does. That accident affected Oklahoma State University like nothing that ever happened before like that," Sutton said. "It also affected everybody that had any emotional ties to any of those players.
"It changed our lives and it really changed my life. Those 10 guys were special. There wasn't a bad guy in that whole lot."
But the remembrance ceremony fell right in the middle of the big run that gave Texas control of the game.
Hamilton hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the first half and another in the opening seconds after halftime as the Longhorns broke open a close game with 14 points in a row. Thompson's layup after Balbay saved the ball under the basket put Texas up 41-27.
Moses had a left-handed dunk as Oklahoma State immediately cut its deficit in half with a 7-0 response, but Thompson helped the Longhorns restore their lead with five straight points during a 7-minute stretch when he scored all 11 of Texas' points.
Thompson's basket inside made it 48-35 Texas with 12:13 to play, and Oklahoma State never got closer than 10 points after that.
"It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years, but that's my point - this is a game. Life goes by quick, and I want our guys to learn from those things," Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said.
Barnes vividly remembers when he heard the news of the plane crash and called it an event he'll "never forget."
"I think it's just a beautiful thing that Oklahoma State is keeping the memory where it should be because it was a tragedy," he said. "It really is."
Thompson added another hook shot in the lane and Gary Johnson converted a three-point play as the Longhorns put the game away with seven straight points go up 61-44 and send the Cowboys' first sellout crowd of the season to an early exit with more than 2 minutes left.
Balbay scored all 10 of his points before halftime and helped Texas hold Keiton Page, OSU's second-leading scorer, without a point for the first time since the Longhorns visited Gallagher-Iba Arena last season.
Oklahoma State was limited to 19 points in the second half and had a 13-game home winning streak snapped. Coach Travis Ford said despite the importance of the game, which dropped the Cowboys into a hole in the Big 12 standings, it was secondary to the other events of the night.
"They're a part of us, still are. This is a great night, a very emotional night," Ford said. "A great night to honor and celebrate people who love this university and gave a lot up for it."