courtesy of texassports.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- Javan Felix scored 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 improves to 19-5 and 8-3 in Big 12 Conference play.
• UT is off to its best 24-game start (19-5) to a season since 2010-11 (started 21-3). It marks the sixth time in the Rick Barnes era (last 16 years) that the Horns have opened the year with at least 19 wins in their first 24 contests (21-3 in 2005-06, 2010-11; 20-4 in 2003-04, 2007-08; 19-5 in 2009-10).
• Texas extends the all-time series record to 46-39 against Oklahoma State. The Longhorns have now won the last nine of 10 games when playing the Cowboys at the Frank Erwin Center.
• Texas has had at least three players score in double figures in 23 of the first 24 games this season.
• UT posted a 40-34 advantage on the glass. Texas has outrebounded 19 of its first 24 opponents and is 16-3 in those games.
• The Horns held the Cowboys to a 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from the field. Texas is 15-0 when holding opponents under 40 percent this year.
• Texas' 54 points in the first half were its most in any half this season.
• UT's eight first-half 3-pointers were the most in any half this season. Texas finished with 11 made 3-pointers to tie its season-best.
• Texas shot 85.7 percent from the line in the first half (12-of-14) and finished shooting 77.4 percent (24-of-31). The Horns are 11-1 when leading their opponent in free-throw percentage.
• The Longhorns' 54-31 lead at the half was the largest lead at the break all season.
• Set a career high with six 3-point field goals.
• Scored a team-high 27 points, 1 shy of his career high.
• Reached double figures in scoring for the 15th time this season and 24th time in his career (57 games).
• Matched his career high in steals with two.
• Recorded six boards and four points (2-of-2 from the line) in 19 minutes of action.
• In his second start of the season, recorded a career-high three 3-pointers and finished with nine points and nine boards.
• Saw a career-high 34 minutes of playing time.
• Recorded his sixth double-double (12 points, 13 rebounds) of the season and seventh in his career. It also marks his third double-double in Big 12 Conference play this year.
• Recorded a career high 10 free throws (10-of-12).
• Led Texas with 13 rebounds, including 10 in the first half … marks the ninth time this season he has led Texas in rebounding.
• Reached double figures in scoring for the 13th time this season and 15th time in his career (57 games).
• Reached double figures in scoring (16 points, 4-of-5 from the line) for the fifth straight game and 19th time in his career (24 games).
• Over the last five games, Taylor has converted 31-of-34 FT (.911).
• Over the last five games, Taylor is averaging 18.8 ppg (31-of-69 FG, 31-of-34 FT) in 34.4 mpg.
• Dished out a team-high five assists. Over the last three games, Taylor is averaging 4.3 assists per game.
• Recorded a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting (2-of-3 from beyond the arc).
• Matched his season high in 3-pointers with two.
• Reached double figures in scoring for the third time in his career (24 games).
Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes
On how it felt to have a blowout win after the tough two games this past week: It is nice to come back and play better than we had the last two games, that is what was nice about it. I thought we had guys who were a little bit more locked in and focused, and really tried to do the things we talked about. We shot the ball really well, obviously, because we took shots. The last two games we got too hesitant to shoot the ball, we were dribbling the ball too much. We did a nice job of just coming back and playing as a team.
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 Texas needing a win tonight: We were talking about it in practice and we came out playing with intensity. It worked out well for us tonight
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 views other teams letting him shoot from the perimeter as a challenge: Definitely, I know I can make those shots and it's just a matter of me taking them. That's something my teammates got on me about, about stoping passing up shots. That's what I tried to do tonight, just take my open looks and get them within the flow of the offense.
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
Opening Statement: I give Texas credit, they are a team that was last in the league in three pointers made, then tonight they go out to make 11 threes. They played well. They made shots. They did a great job moving the ball. They made some tough shots. They had some shots off the dribble that I thought was tough and they made them. I like the effort that we had second half. We had some guys step up. We had some guys never give up though there were some times they could have really gotten down. We got scrappier in the second half. We played hard but we did not get much out of it at times. We played hard then lost some out of bounce. We played hard then got the ball knocked out of our hands. We were not scrappy enough at times. I was proud of them in the second half. I give Texas credit, they made some nice plays.
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 the expectations on the night: We know that we would have to get extreme effort from players that we were not use. Of course, Mason [Cox] stepped up and Christian [Sager] made some threes along with defensive plays. That is what we expected guys to step up and do. We just waited until the second half to start playing how we know how to play, which was too late.
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
On getting the opportunity to play: Anytime given an opportunity to play, you have to make the best of it. I have been in practice every single day for the past two years working to be ready when my name was called. I am already ready. I am happy that Coach had the faith in me to put me in. I think I did well, the work I put in everyday made off.
Junior G Christien Sager
On bringing energy to the team: That is always something any team needs. That is one thing that I can control on the court, the energy I can bring. Tonight, I had a few shots go into, I took a few more shots than normally which is great but I can I always can bring the energy.
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.