Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE
This Oklahoma Sooners squad has failed to beat their rival, the Texas Longhorns, in the past six attempts. However, Big Monday would provide a national stage on which the Sooners would rain victorious.
This was a matchup that started out on the rough side of things as the Texas Longhorns would force eight turnovers from the Oklahoma Sooners before the half concluded. the Longhorns concern would remain on the turnover differential as UT committed 12 turnovers in the same time span.
"If I was watching on TV, I would have turned it off. The only thing that helped us during that time was that they weren't scoring, but we were rebounding the ball a little bit. We had to work through a lot of different situations." - Rick Barnes
Despite the plethora of turnovers, Texas would eventually take a 24-19 lead over the Sooners with under four minutes left to play in the first half. However, it wasn't until Jonathan Holmes left the game with a wrist injury in the first half at the seven minute mark that OU would begin to find a groove. Romero Osby checked back into the game with roughly four minutes left in the first half and took over.
"Arguably, he is one of our top two players. He got into foul trouble late in the last game and we played through it. He played more minutes than some of the post players. But that's why you have a team. One thing's for certain now, those young guys are going to get a lot of experience. We need them to play and develop. Holmes offensively made a couple of poor decisions but he doesn't know how it happened. He just knew there was something wrong." - Rick Barnes on Jonathan Holmes
Osby would score the final 9 points for Oklahoma in the first half taking a 30-26 lead into the locker room. At the break, Osby had recorded 14 points en route to his career high and game high 29 points. For the game Roe shot 9-of-15, one of those coming by way of his first 3-pointer on the season, while pulling down eight rebounds. Needless to say, the night belonged to Osby.
Combating the Roe Show was Texas' Sheldon McClellan who saw time off the bench. Receiving 31 minutes of playing time, McClellan poured in a team high 25 points as the UT bench outscored OU's bench 44-9. The only other player to score in double digits for the Longhorns was Ioannis Papapetrou with 12. But, it simply wasn't enough.
Amath M'Baye added 15 points of his own with high percentage shots in the form of rim rattling oops.
"Lobs are always a huge part on the guard. It is just about finishing them. Our guards are doing a terrific job finding us around the basket." - Amath M'Baye
"It is fun. I see Amath [M'Baye] running down the court and I hit him; I like making plays like that and getting the crowd into it." - Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield found his name being mentioned yet again as a stat stuffer. Hield finished the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assits, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The freshman continues to impress as he understands his role on this team and has a great natural feel for the flow of the game.
On the evening the Sooners shot 48.1% from the field marking the highest percentage this Texas squad has allowed of an opponent all season. Coach Lon Kruger attributes much of the success to the leadership of Osby.
"Roe's leadership has been invaluable to the entire group, but especially the young guys. Again, it is not just the young guys that he sets the bar for. He sets it for everyone. I think our guys, like Amath [M'Baye] said, they appreciate the fact that he is very genuine and is doing it for all the right reasons and is all about the team. No one puts more time in or works harder or is more consistent in practice than he is. That is what you want out of your leading scorer and a guy that everyone else is kind of rallying around." - Lon Kruger
Texas falls to 0-5 in conference but will have a chance to get their first win against a Texas Tech Red Raider squad. Up next for the Oklahoma Sooners will be Big 12 favorite, the Kansas Jayhawks, in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday. It will be a tough game to win while many refuse to give the Sooners a chance.