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March 5, 2006

No. 6 Texas routs Oklahoma, 72-48

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AUSTIN, Texas - Daniel Gibson scored 22 points and No. 6 Texas won a share of its first Big 12 title since 1999 with a 72-48 win Sunday over No. 19 Oklahoma, a victory that also secured a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Texas (25-5, 13-3) shares the Big 12 title with Kansas, a team the Longhorns beat by 25 a week earlier, but gets the top seed in the conference tournament because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Gibson had six assists and hit four of Texas' nine 3-pointers. P.J. Tucker added 13 points for the Longhorns, who went undefeated in conference play at home. Texas set a school record for most wins in a regular season and ended a three-game losing streak to the Sooners.

Taj Gray scored 10 to lead Oklahoma (20-7, 11-5). Michael Neal, who came in averaging five 3-pointers over the previous six games, finished with two for six points.

Texas had a chance to win the title outright after beating Kansas, but blundered away that opportunity with a 46-43 loss at Texas A&M when Tucker dribbled out the shot clock to set up A&M's winning shot in the final second.

Given another chance at the title, Texas never let this one get close.

Gibson, who has struggled with streaky shooting and tendinitis in his knee, hit three 3-pointers in the first half. The Longhorns defense forced eight turnovers and held the Sooners without a basket during a 10-minute stretch as Texas slowly built a double-digit lead.

In the first meeting with the Sooners, an 82-72 Oklahoma win, the Longhorns got no points off their bench. Guard A.J. Abrams ended that drought with two 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes of the first half.

The Longhorns hit 6-of-12 from long range to take a 33-23 lead into halftime

Texas opened the second with an 8-2 run to push the lead to 16. Tucker hit a leaning bank shot high off the backboard and Brad Buckman, a sneaky 3-point shooter at power forward, stepped to the top of the arc for Texas' first 3 of the second half.

Texas then started going inside.

LaMarcus Aldridge hit a baseline jumper and Gibson finished a fast break with a dish to Buckman for a two-handed dunk over two defenders.

Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson might have missed the play. Complaining that Buckman wasn't called for a foul on the other end the floor, Sampson was flailing his arms and inadvertently knocked one of the officials into the scorer's table just as Buckman went up for the slam that put Texas up 47-31.

The Sooners outrebounded Texas 28-27 but never fought their way back in the game.

Gibson hit his fourth 3-pointer from the corner, then added a pair of free throws. Tucker drove the baseline to draw three defenders, then shot a pass out to Abrams for another 3 and a 57-35 Texas lead with 7:40 to play.

From there, it was a matter of nursing the lead through the final minutes. Gibson coasted in for two easy layups then dumped another pass behind a defender to feed another dunk, this time by Aldridge.

For more coverage of the Texas Longhorns, check out Orangebloods.com.
For more coverage of the Oklahoma Sooners, check out SoonerScoop.com.

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