Ford ultimately got the best of his Big 12 rival Saturday as No.
3 Texas pulled away from (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) Oklahoma State for a 78-65 victory, ending
the ninth-ranked Cowboys' 15-game winning streak.
Ford, who has seldom been challenged this season, scored 17
points and handed out four assists despite an outstanding defensive
effort by Williams.
"That's the most aggressive someone has been on me all year,''
Ford said. "I give him a lot of credit.''
Williams got his points, too, with 22 on 7-of-19 shooting. But
it's a team game, and Ford and Texas came out on top.
"Me and T.J. are both competitors,'' said Williams, who hugged
Ford when the game was over.
"It's one of those times where I want to beat him and he wanted
to beat me. I just wanted to tell him we've still got to go to
Oklahoma State,'' Williams said.
Oklahoma State (17-2, 6-1) lost for the first time in two
The loss dropped the Cowboys out of sole possession of first
place in the conference. Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
all have one Big 12 loss.
"They're the best team in our league,'' Cowboys coach Eddie
Sutton said of Texas. "They're the best team we've played this
The victory was a measure of revenge for Texas, which had to
watch Cowboys players carry Sutton off the Longhorns' home court
last season when the coach earned his 700th career victory.
Saturday's game was Sutton's 999th in the coach's box -- fourth
among active coaches -- but this one wasn't nearly as sweet for his
Texas shot 51 percent from the floor and outrebounded Oklahoma
State 41-28 in snuffing out the nation's longest winning streak.
Before the game, the Erwin Center crowd of 14,804 observed a
moment of silence for the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and
its crew over Texas skies earlier in the day. After the national
anthem, a student spirit group unfurled a large Texas Lone Star
flag on the court.
Texas led 38-36 after a first half in which both teams shot
better than 50 percent, neither led by more than five and the
normally reserved Longhorns fans were on their feet.
Texas opened the second half with a 10-2 run as the Cowboys
suddenly went cold, missing their first five shots. Ivey finished a
fastbreak with a running bank shot and Ford capped the spurt with
an incredible, twisting fall-away jumper to his left that made it
"I thought Royal was spectacular. It's the best he's played
since he's been here,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said.
The Cowboys started getting into foul trouble as starters Tony
Allen and Melvin Sanders both had four fouls with more than 15
"The first three minutes of the second half, they blew out on
us and then we're trying to play catch-up the rest of the night,''
Sutton said. "We just couldn't get over the hump.''
Texas bumped the lead as high as 63-48 with 7:29 to play behind
Brian Boddicker's shot clock-beating 3-pointer and Ford's short
jumper. At that point, the Cowboys were just 3-of-15 shooting in
the second half.
Ford hit a 3-pointer that bounced twice on the rim and backboard
before falling in to put Texas up 68-54.
The Cowboys cut it to 69-63 with a 9-1 run capped by Allen's
three-point play with 1:20 left. Williams stripped Ford at midcourt
and Ford fouled Allen on the layup.
But that was as close as it got as Texas hit nine free throws
down the stretch to seal the win.