Big 12 championship game: Texas outlasts Oklahoma State for first tournament title
Photo: Texas athletics

Texas is back in the NCAA Tournament for the 36th time in program history after outgunning Oklahoma State 91-86 in the Big 12 championship game.

The Longhorns (19-7) got huge games from Matt Coleman III and Jericho Sims, who scored 30 and 21 points, respectively. Texas won the conference tournament for the first time after losing six previous championship games.

Texas takes down Cunningham, Oklahoma State for maiden Big 12 tournament title

Oklahoma State (21-8) was led by potential Player of the Year Cade Cunningham, who scored 29. Isaac Likekele added 13 and Kalib Boone had 12 as the Cowboys were seeking their first Big 12 tournament title since 2005.

Oklahoma State took an early 8-4 lead after a Bryce Williams layup in transition four and a half minutes into the game. The Cowboys went back in front 13-11 following a layup by with 14:22 left, but that would mark the final lead of the night for the Cowboys. Texas responded with a 7-0 spurt over the next two minutes to grab an 18-13 advantage after a Coleman layup at the 12:34 mark.

Leading 29-25 with 5:44 remaining, Texas used a 14-4 run over a four-minute span to build a 43-29 cushion following a Cunningham three-pointer at the 1:28 mark. The Longhorns converted 55.2 percent (16-29) from the floor, including a four of eight mark from three-point range en route to a 43-33 halftime lead. Oklahoma State missed all nine of their attempts from deep.

Trailing 52-43 after a Sims free throw at the 15:24 mark, Oklahoma State scored seven straight points to pull within 52-50 following a layup by Rondel Walker with 13:30 left. Texas again answered with a 14-5 run to increase its margin to 66-55 after a Coleman three with 9:06 remaining and it was 66-59 after Cunningham found Avery Anderson III.

The Longhorns did not allow the margin to dip below six points until the final minute of the game. Cunningham knocked down a pair of deep three-pointers to trim the deficit to 89-86 with six seconds remaining, but Andrew Jones calmly sank a pair of free throws to seal the win.

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