Felix's six 3-pointers lead No. 19 Texas past Oklahoma State, 87-68
February 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
TEXAS PRESS RELEASE
AUSTIN, Texas -- Javan Felixscored 27 points, making six 3-pointers and No. 19 Texas rolled to an 87-68 win over Oklahoma State, which played its first game Tuesday night without suspended star Marcus Smart.
Smart sat out the first of a three-game suspension by the Big 12 for shoving a Texas Tech fan. Without him, the Cowboys never had a chance.
Felix scored eight consecutive points that pushed Texas' lead to 22 early in the first half. The Longhorns (19-5, 8-3) led 54-33 at halftime despite playing without leading scorer Jonathan Holmes, who sat out with a knee injury.
Smart, who averages 18 points, will miss games against Oklahoma and Baylor before returning for the Cowboys' rematch with Texas Tech.
Le'Bryan Nash led Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7) with23 points.
Both teams played without their best all-around best players. But while the Cowboys struggled mightily without Smart, the Longhorns didn't miss a beat without Holmes as Felix scored seemingly at will. Felix was 6-of-8 shooting on 3 pointers and was just one point shy of his career high.
He had plenty of help as Texas had four players score in double figures. Isaiah Taylor scored 16, Martez Walker scored 12 and Cameron Ridley had his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Texas' outburst came three days after the Longhorns scored just 18 points in the first half of a loss at Kansas State that ended a seven-game winning streak.
Back home, Texas made eight 3-pointers and shot better than 50 percent for most of the first half.
Connor Lammert, who got just his second start of the season in place of Holmes, made three 3-pointers in the first half. Felix turned it into a rout with an 8-pointer burst -- two 3-pointers and a layup -- that pushed Texas' lead to 36-14.
Felix opened the second half with two more 3-pointers. He followed the first one with a steal that set up his second in transition. The run ended any chance of a Cowboys rally before it could even begin.
Smart scored 24 points when Oklahoma State beat Texas in early January. Without him for the rematch, Oklahoma State didn't have an answer for anything Texas wanted to do.
Sharp-shooting guard Phil Forte, who was Smart's high-school teammate when they won a Texas state championship on the same court, was just 2-of-7 shooting and never got a chance to open up from long-range. Forward Brian Williams was 0-8 and the Cowboys shot just 36 percent for the game.
Oklahoma State was ranked No. 11 when these teams first met early in the Big 12 schedule. The Cowboys have fallen hard from the early projections of conference title contenders and now lost five in a row.
Texas has not set a timetable for Holmes to return, but he is not expected to miss the rest of the season.
Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes
On if the outside shooting today makes the team even more threatening offensively: Where we have been bad all year is when we don't take our shots. I told every guy on our team, when we're running our offense and moving the ball I expect every guy to take the shots they practice. We go back and you look at those, turned down shots lead to a lot of turnovers, we can't get hesitant. First of all, with a guy like Javan, we thought he turned down some shots early in the game tonight. Normally, if we do what we are supposed to do and screen, somebody is going to show a little bit, and if we'll shoot it, it gives the post guy the chance to maybe run and rebound the ball with great positioning. So it is just trusting what we are doing, and we got back to passing the ball ahead, and when we bogged down a little bit, you think just too much dribbling, standing around and one guy stopping the ball from moving.
Freshman G Martez Walker
On if he and others took it upon themselves to step up with Jonathan Holmes out: Javan and Isaiah came to me before the game and told me I had to do what I could do. I just tried to come out and play tonight with no hesitation.
Sophomore G Javan Felix
On if he felt like tonight would be a big night for him: No, I went through my same routine. Coach came up to me before the game and said, "Be aggressive and set the tone for your teammates." Especially with Jonathan out, that's what I just tried to do. He said, "Whenever you feel like you're open just take the shot," and I did.
Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford
On Javan Felix: He is not one of the guys we would leave completely open. He made some nice shots. We knew his percentages but he made some threes that hurt us, he had a high percentage tonight. He played uncharacteristically which has been happening a lot to us lately, we have to do something about it. We have to do more than hope a team misses, we have to do something about it.
On the takeaway from tonight's game: Hopefully we will be better Saturday, in terms of comfort. We had guys that have not played the point very much. We did not practice Sunday, then got out here last night at 6 p.m. after a late plane. We did not get a lot done in terms of getting some guys use to some different positions, but there are no excuses. Texas played really well right out of the gate. I liked the second half. Markel [Brown] will get more comfortable. Christian [Sager] we asked him to play the point a little bit, he will understand now that he has to be ready and he will be. He gave us good minutes.
Sophomore P Kamari Murphy
On whether he is upset with how the team played in the first half: Our coaches enforce that we keep our heads up. We are going through a tough time right now, but everyone in the locker room is not down, we are not blaming anyone else, or making excuses. We have to find a way as a team to win the game. We need to put a 40 minute game together were we play defense, make the right plays, and shots. We need to play a whole 40 minute game.
Senior P Mason Cox
Junior G Christien Sager
On the second half being the building block for the next few games: Coach Ford says we need to bottle that up, that intensity, defense, and rebounding. We need to bottle all that up into a 40 minute game and we will be alright.