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Updated: Sunday, March 14, 2004 6:43 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(7) Oklahoma St 65, (11) Texas 49

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Oklahoma State may be the best shooting team in the Big 12 Conference, but it used defense to earn its first league championship.

The seventh-ranked Cowboys held No. 11 Texas without a basket for nearly 14 minutes in the second half to earn a 65-49 victory in the Big 12 tournament title game.

Oklahoma State (27-3) has won 17 of its last 18 games and improved to 3-0 against Texas this season. The Cowboys are the second seed in the NCAA Tournament East Rutherford region and will face Eastern Washington in the first round.

"Our defense allowed us to win," said Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton. "I though the first 10 minutes we were as good a defensive team as I've had in my entire career at Oklahoma State. I'm not sure I've ever been prouder than I am of this basketball team."

Oklahoma State never trailed after the game's first three minutes and opened an early 24-9 lead.

The Longhorns (23-7) pulled within 42-39 on Jason Klotz's three-point play with 14:48 left. That was the final basket for Texas before James Thomas' follow shot cut the deficit to 63-47 with 56 seconds to go.

In between, the Cowboys seized control as Tony Allen and Terrence Crawford each scored five points in a 21-6 surge that sealed their first conference championship since the 1995 Big Eight title.

Allen scored 21 points to lead Oklahoma State and was named tournament MVP. The senior guard made 8-of-12 shots and also grabbed nine rebounds.

The Cowboys scored 17 points off 13 turnovers by the Longhorns, including four by Texas shooting guard Brandon Mouton. It was part of a miserable day for Mouton, who made 3-of-11 shots for six points.

"We played as bad as we have in a long time," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "I'm disappointed with the way we've started in this tournament, getting ourselves in a hole and having to fight back. They're obviously too good a team to try to do that against."

Texas received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and is the third seed in the Atlanta region. The Longhorns will face Princeton.

John Lucas and Joey Graham scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, continuing their terrific campaigns in their first season with Oklahoma State. Lucas, a Baylor transfer, and Graham, a Central Florida transfer, have been key additions to what has been an unexpected season for the Cowboys.

"If we keep playing the way we've been playing, the sky is the limit for us," Graham said. "If we play as well defensively as we have this team will go as far as possible."

Klotz was the only Longhorn in double figures with 15 points. Texas shot 33 percent (19-of-58) and was also handled on the glass, 42-35.

"They are an athletic team," Klotz said. "They put the pressure on everybody and were making it tough to get the ball in there."

Oklahoma State is the first Big 12 team to win the regular season and tournament titles since Iowa State accomplished the feat in 2000.


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