Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE
The chance to sweep the Longhorns was on the table for the Oklahoma Sooners. However, a tremendous performance by Myck Kabongo proved to be enough to rally over Romero Osby and OU marking a terrible loss on their NCAA Tournament resume.
Lon Kruger and his Oklahoma Sooners started the game toe-to-toe with the Texas Longhorns. With the score 14-16 in Texas' favor, the Sooners used a 16-0 spurt to lead 31-16. The spark Oklahoma needed was provided by Steven Pledger as he connected on 5-of-6 three point attempts in the half for 15 points. Pledger ended the game with 18 points
Oklahoma would shoot a blazing 70% from the field during the first half of play while taking a 43-28 lead into the locker room. From there things went downhill in a hurry as the Longhorns began to exploit a weakness that continues to creep up on the Sooners...the full-court press while Myck Kabongo began to take over.
There are two fundamentals of basketball taught to every young team concerning a full-court press. The first of these fundaments comes in the fact that screens and movement away from the ball are a must to get the ball in bounds. The second of these comes under the umbrella of moving the ball as this is the most effective way to beat full-court pressure.
With seven minutes left to play, the Oklahoma Sooners would begin to lose grip on their 22 point lead over the Texas Longhorns as both of the aforementioned fundamentals became secondary. Sam Grooms found himself running around inside the paint attempting to lose his defender while his teammates streaked up the floor leaving him to handle the double team and trap single handedly. The result ended in a multiple turnovers and easy points for the Longhorns.
Oklahoma would cling tight to a small lead until Pledger attempted to close out on McClellan as the infamous "rip move" made famous by Kevin Durant was employed sending McClellan to the line for three successful attempts bringing UT to within one point.
Of course, there is no one you would rather see have the ball in his hands than Romero Osby in the closing seconds if you are a Sooner fan as he drew the foul to potentially give OU a three point lead. Instead, Osby hit the front of the iron on the first shot and drilled the second to leave the deficit at two giving the worst three point shooting team in the conference with a chance at overtime.
With the game squarely placed on Kabongo's shoulders, it was his time to shine and shine he did. The Sooners played decent defense as Kabongo put up a prayer from the elbow that found the bottom of the net and took the game to overtime.
In overtime, it was all Texas as the momentum and crowd was on their side resulting in a 92-86 victory.
Not only would Osby have a career night with 31 points, he was matched point for point by Kabongo who finished with 32 as the Oklahoma bench was outscored for the first time in a long while 33-13. McClellan had 18 points himself off the bench to squander anything the Sooners did from the bench perspective.