AUSTIN, Texas — Isaiah Taylor held his head in his hands, then looked up and never wavered with what he had to say.
"The confidence is still there," Taylor said, "We're still a good team. There's no doubt in my mind."
The Texas players might believe it, but their record says otherwise after the Longhorns dropped their fourth in a row, this time a 65-63 overtime loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
Taylor scored 18 points and led a late charge to force the game into overtime, but the Cowboys' Phil Forte won it with two free throws with 2.1 seconds left, taking a game the Longhorns desperately needed to win.
Texas (14-8, 3-6 Big 12) had been ranked as high as No. 6 in the country and was 12-2 before running into all sorts of trouble in the Big 12. Now at the halfway point in the conference season, the Longhorns show no sign of turning things around.
"We've got a group of guys who are hurting and I hurt for them," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "But I know this, we've got a group of guys who if they can put it all together, we can be awfully good."
Le'Bryan Nash scored 17 points for the Cowboys (15-7, 5-5), who led most of the game, only to see Texas rally in the final minute of regulation to tie. Anthony Hickey scored 15 points, and Forte had 14 for the Cowboys.
Forte's free throws came from the same place where he won a Texas state high school championship a few years ago.
"I was just trying to focus and lock in," said Forte, an 85 percent free throw shooter who missed one late in regulation. "I was thinking about the state championship game my senior year. I think it's kind of ironic how it comes down to the same thing."
Taylor scored Texas' final six points in regulation, but also missed a free throws that could have won it with 3 seconds left.
"That free throw I can't get back," Taylor said.
Texas' Connor Lammert tied it at 63 with a free throw with 11.6 seconds left in overtime. Oklahoma State got the ball to Forte, who had struggled most of the second half to find an open shot against a stifling Texas defense. Forte drove to the basket when the lane opened up and drew a foul against Cam Ridley.
Forte had been dogged by chants of "Air-ball! Air-ball!" from the home crowd most of the second half, but the 85-percent free throw shooter silenced the Erwin Center by making both shots to lift the Cowboys to their first Big 12 road win of the season.
Taylor's long, running 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the side of the rim.
"We needed that first road win," Nash said. "It's going to be a long season."
Demarcus Holland scored 14 points for Texas, making three 3-pointers in the second half as Texas rallied and recovered from a sloppy first half that saw the Longhorns commit 13 turnovers.
Barnes refused to panic about his team's collapse.
"Why would I worry?" Barnes said. "I don't even know if I'm going to live tomorrow."
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys pestered the Longhorns into a rash of first-half turnovers but forced just five in the second. The Cowboys scored 18 off the Texas turnovers.
Texas: Texas was already without guard Javan Felix (concussion) and then lost starting forward Jonathan Holmes after he took a blow the head early in the second half. Holmes came in averaging 12.1 points but was scoreless when he left the game.
Barnes said there was no official diagnosis yet of Holmes' injury. "We kept him out for cautionary reasons," Barnes said.
SIZE DOESN'T MATTER
Barnes has been after the Longhorns to use their size advantage and tried to force the issue when he started a frontcourt of 6-foot-9 Ridley, 6-9 Holmes and 6-11 Myles Turner. But five turnovers in the first six possessions forced him to quickly abandon that plan. Ridley scored 12 and Turner scored eight points but they seldom established a presence in the post.
ON A ROLL
Oklahoma State has won six of the last seven against Texas and has swept the Longhorns twice in the last three seasons. The previous win this season came when Texas was No. 10.
Oklahoma State: vs Kansas on Saturday.
Texas: at Kansas State on Saturday.
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