Oklahoma basketball: Sooners face third straight ranked opponent in Texas

The third and final leg of the current Oklahoma basketball stretch against ranked opponents takes place on Tuesday in a Red River Showdown against No. 21 Texas.

Tuesday’s contest will be the 100th game in this basketball rivalry series that first began in 1910. That was 10 years after the historic football rivalry between the two schools began. Oklahoma leads the all-time hoops series 57-42, but the Longhorns are 24-19 against the Sooners in Austin. OU is 4-6 in its last 10 road visits to Auston.

The Sooners (12-3, 2-1) are fresh off an impressive 79-66 home victory over then 11th-ranked Iowa State on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Longhorns (12-3, 2-1) are looking to rebound at home from a road loss at Oklahoma State over the weekend.

Down by as many as 11 points early in the second half on Saturday, the Sooners made 18 of 22 field-goal attempts over the final 20 minutes, for a blistering 82 percent, and came roaring back for a 79-66 victory.

Matchup
Oklahoma Sooners Basketball
12-3
Texas Longhorns Basketball
12-3
Tuesday, Jan. 11
7:30 p.m. CT
Longhorn Network
Longhorns -6.5

Oklahoma, with nine newcomers on its 15-man roster this season, is playing better than many expected under Porter Moser, in his first season as the Sooners’ head coach. The come-from-behind win over Iowa State was the Sooners third victory this season over a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

OU is 1-1 in its current three-game gauntlet against ranked teams, losing at No. 1 Baylor before pulling off the upset of Iowa State.

The Texas game will not be televised nationally but will be carried on the Longhorn Network.

The Sooners stay on the road this weekend with a game in Ft. Worth against TCU.

What you need to know about Tuesday’s matchup between Oklahoma and Texas

  • Oklahoma is fourth in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 74.7 points a game, and first in the conference in shooting percentage (51.2 percent). Texas, meanwhile, leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, holding opponents to 53.1 points a game. The Longhorns are holding opponents to 39.1 percent from the field, second-best in the conference.
  • Oklahoma is led offensively by senior Tanner Groves, averaging 14.3 points a game. Two other OU starters, Umoja Gibson and Elijah Harkless, also average in double figures, at 13.1 and 10.4 points, respectively.
  • The Sooners’ Umoja Gibson has made 37 consecutive free throws. He has not missed at the free-throw line since going two for three on Nov. 18 against East Carolina.
  • Texas is led in the scoring column by senior Timmy Allen (11.9 a game). He is the lone Longhorn starter averaging double figures in scoring, but all four of the other starters average at least nine points a game.
  • Texas is opportunistic on defense, leading the Big 12 in turnover ratio (plus-six). The Sooners are last in the conference in that category.
  • The Longhorns’ 17.6 victory margin through 15 games ranks second in the Big 12 to Baylor.
  • New Oklahoma associate head coach K.T. Turner was an assistant at Texas last season under Shaka Smart. The two teams split the season series a year ago with each winning on the other’s home court.
  • Texas is the best free-throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 77 percent. Oklahoma is second at 76 percent.

Prediction

Texas is back home and looking to regroup from a loss at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns are favored by 6.5 points. This will be only Oklahoma’s third true road game of the season. The Sooners have played well away from home this season, and they won the game in Austin last season. Texas has the talent edge in this one, and it is going to take another strong shooting performance if the Sooners are going to be able to steal a quality road win. Texas over the Sooners by 7.