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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: Sooners End Drought With 84-75 Win

With Jordan Woodard back in the starting lineup and Rashard Odomes having a career night, Sooners finally win again.

The Lloyd Noble Center was the perfect place to be to avoid the weather outside, as the Sooners were fiery-hot the whole game. As people prepared for the weather and storms outside of the arena, Texas Tech was unprepared for the storm they were going to face inside the gym. After a month of waiting, there are two words we can finally say again: SOONERS WIN.

Although many Sooner fans may have given up on this team, Lon Kruger continues to stride forward and experiment with the team. The Sooners starting lineup was a bit different tonight, as Jordan Woodard and Dante Buford began the game for OU tonight.

Oklahoma struggled a bit to put the ball in the bucket to begin the game, but Rashard Odomes alleviated Oklahoma’s offensive woes, scoring the team’s first seven points of the game. The Red Raiders answered Odomes’ seven points with nine points of their own going into the first media timeout. Seven of the nine Texas Tech points came from Keenan Evans.

Lon Kruger looked to his bench early in this game, subbing in Kristian Doolittle, Jamuni McNeace and Christian James out of the first media timeout. This lead to an immediate impact in the game, with Doolittle and Woodard knocking down 3-pointers. Thanks to Odomes racing out to a quick 11 points, and the Sooners shooting 64 percent from the field, Oklahoma lead Texas Tech 18-13 with 11:57 to go in the game.

If you hadn’t watched the Sooners all season, you would not have guessed that they had been on a seven-game losing streak. OU came out ready to play, going on a 10-0 run and extending their lead to 11 points to make it 24-13.

The hot shooting from the 3-point line helped OU maintain a 10-point lead at the 6:04 mark. The Sooners began the game shooting 75 percent from downtown, knocking down three of four attempts. However, the veterans from Texas Tech did not feel rattled by the Sooners fast start, and inched their way back into the game, trailing only by five points going into the last media timeout of the half.

Despite leading by double digits in the first half, the Sooners only held a 6-point lead over the Red Raiders at the break. A good sign for Oklahoma to end the half was Jordan Woodard getting involved in the action. He managed to knock down four free throws down the stretch, as well as grabbing a steal. He finished the half with nine points, but Odomes stole the show by putting up 17 points in the first. OU managed to shoot 52 percent from the floor in the first half, and shot 50 percent beyond the arc.

Starting the second half, things got heated. Both teams came out knocking down shots, but Aaron Ross gave a shot to Kameron McGusty’s head and acquired a flagrant one early into the second half. The Red Raiders accumulated five fouls in the first four minutes, and the Sooners led by as much as 12 points early to start the half.

The Sooners were the beneficiaries of a foul-happy Texas Tech team, as OU entered the bonus with 13:23 to go in the half. The Sooners then started to struggle with Woodard on the bench, and allowed Texas Tech to stay within six points going into the second media timeout of the second half. OU suffered from a 5-minute drought of no field goals, something they have become accustomed to in the second half.

Woodard returned to the game and immediately was a game changer. He scored six points in a 4-minute span, as well as grabbing a steal to help OU possess a 7-point lead. When the team began to settle for shots or could not find a groove, Woodard managed to make plays and score points primarily from the free throw line. In fact, Woodard finished 14-14 from the free throw line for the game.

Odomes was the game changer in this match-up however. Odomes was once again attacked the basket, and found himself getting another and-one with 7:21 to play. With the converted free throw, Odomes pushed the Sooners lead to 12 points.

A scoop layup by Jordan Woodard was answered by a made jumper by Zach Smith and a Texas Tech timeout with 4:06 left in the game. Oklahoma held a 10-point lead and looked to finish this very winnable game. But the Sooners are the first ones to tell you that the game is not over until it is over.

A vintage step-back 2-point jumper from Woodard gave the Sooners a 77-65 edge and a glimmer of hope of walking away with a victory. Smith for Texas Tech answered this jumper with a 3-pointer of his own, bringing it within single digits. Woodard once again found the bottom of the net for OU, but like a broken record, Texas Tech responded with a 3-pointer.

A pair of Texas Tech free throws brought the game within six points with just 54 seconds to play. The Sooners were able to seal the deal down the stretch through made free throws.

Woodard and Odomes put on a show, as OU earned its first Big 12 win of the season. Odomes finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Woodard put up 27 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Oklahoma finished shooting 45 percent from the field, out-rebounded Texas Tech by 12 and had 16 points off of turnovers. However, the story of the night was that OU managed to shoot 37 free throws and knocked down 30 of them.

Oklahoma moves to 7-9 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. But there are nobreaks for the Sooners, as their next match-up will be at West Virginia on the 18th. The game will tip off at 6:00 PM CT and will be televised on ESPN2.