No. 15 Texas 98, No. 7 Texas A&M 96, 2OT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—If this really was Kevin Durant’s last home game at Texas, the Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies sure made it fun.
And the Aggies’ Acie Law nearly spoiled the party.
Durant had 30 points and 16 rebounds to help No. 15 Texas outlast No. 7 Texas A&M 98-96 in double overtime Wednesday night.
The win keeps the Longhorns (22-7, 12-3) within sight of the conference title, which they can share with a win Saturday at No. 3 Kansas. A Kansas win gives the Jayhawks the title outright.
“I’m not sure there’s ever been a bigger basketball game for both teams,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “I’ve got respect for both teams they way they laid it out there tonight.”
By the time it was over, pockets of Longhorns fans were chanting “Three more years!” hoping Durant might stick around instead of heading for the NBA after this season. Many expect he’ll only play one college season, although he has not publicly committed to leave or stay.
Law forced both overtimes with 3-pointers. His first over Durant with 1.1 seconds left in regulation tied it at 78-78. He did it again when he hit another with 26 seconds left in the first overtime to make it 88-88.
“He just takes over games at the end,” Durant said of Law. “He’s a great player. Me and Acie are real good friends. It was fun going back and forth.”
It looked like Law would do it again when he drove to the basket for a tying layup at the end of the second, but his shot was blocked by Damion James with 15 seconds left.
Durant hit three of four free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
Law, who finished with 33 points for A&M (24-5, 12-3) got to the free throw line with the Aggies down by three with 1.4 seconds left. He made the first to pull them within two but was forced to miss the second to give his team a chance to grab the rebound. Chinemelu Elonu grabbed the ball but his final putback was off the mark.
D.J. Augustin added 25 points for the Longhorns. James scored 22 and had two key blocks late.
Texas thought it had the game won when Durant hit a long 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in regulation that gave Texas a 76-72 lead, only to watch Law lead the A&M rally again and again.
Law is one player considered a solid challenge for Durant for Big 12 player of the year honors.
“I told him if I had a vote, it would be for him,” Law said. “We’ll leave that to the voters. Player of the year in this conference is a big deal.”
After each of his game-tying shots, Law posed and pointed his right forefinger in the air to the contingent of Aggie fans in the arena’s upper deck.
“I was just lucky to get it to fall,” Law said of the first one. He appeared to be stuck in the corner with the 6-foot-9 Durant standing near him when he put up a moon shot that seemed to take forever to fall in.
The Longhorns led by as many as seven in the first overtime. Law scored the final five points with a steal and layup and the 3-pointer.
Texas opened the second overtime with a 3-pointer by A.J. Abrams, who followed it with a floater in the lane. A&M tied it on Antanas Kavaliauskas’ 3-pointer before Durant got to the line to finish it off.
“It was a great game tonight,” Durant said. “I’m just glad we won.”