Texas continued its impressive start to the Big 12 season by ending a pair of lengthy home win streaks.
When they return to their court Saturday night, the seventh-ranked Longhorns will try to add to No. 11 Missouri’s road woes while recording their best conference start in more than two decades.
In their 11th win in 12 games, the Longhorns matched their fewest points allowed this season and limited the Cowboys to 32.1 percent shooting. During the game, Oklahoma State remembered the 10-year anniversary of a plane crash that killed 10 people with ties to its basketball program.
“It’s tough for both sides,” guard Dogus Balbay said. “For us, too, it’s really tough; it’s really sad. But the only way we could honor those people was coming here and playing hard.”
Texas (17-3, 5-0) has allowed 53.4 points on 37.5 percent shooting while matching its best conference start since 2005-06. The Longhorns haven’t started 6-0 in league play since 1989-90 as members of the old Southwest Conference.
They have a chance to match that feat and their longest win streak this season against the Tigers, who have yet to win away from home in the Big 12. Missouri (17-3, 3-2) trailed by double digits throughout much of the second half of its conference opener, an 89-76 loss to Colorado on Jan. 8, and faltered late in a 91-89 overtime defeat to then-No. 14 Texas A&M on Jan. 15.
All five starters reached double figures in last Saturday’s 87-54 win over the Cyclones, led by Michael Dixon’s 15 points. Ricardo Ratliffe also had a career-high six blocks to help limit Iowa State to a season-low 27.1 percent shooting.
“Whoever we play, we always feel we have a pretty deep team and try to use that to our advantage,” guard Kim English said. “If they stuck around with us early, their confidence would only get bigger. … So we definitely made a concerted effort to make stops early.”
Missouri jumped out to an 11-1 lead last season at home against then-No. 15 Texas and held on for an 82-77 victory, the Tigers’ third straight in the series. English scored 18 points, while Jordan Hamilton had 24 off the bench for the Longhorns.
Marcus Denmon, averaging 17.3 points, had two on 1-of-4 shooting for Missouri, which learned Wednesday that the NCAA declared top recruit Tony Mitchell academically ineligible for this season.
Hamilton enters this game as the Big 12’s third-leading scorer (19.2 ppg) and will try to help his team record its fifth win in six home games against the Tigers.
Missouri won the previous meeting in Austin, 69-65 on Feb. 4, 2009, but hasn’t beaten a Top 10 opponent on the road since 1994.
The teams have split 22 all-time matchups, and Texas holds a 5-3 edge at home.
Longhorns senior forward Gary Johnson is five points shy of 1,000.