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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: OU Loses Back-and-Forth Battle in Lubbock, 77-69

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The Sooners lost their fifth straight game and fall to 8-14 on the season.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners tipped off in Lubbock just minutes after the third Big 12 team (West Virginia) went down at home on a wild Saturday. On a day that also saw Iowa State break the mighty Jayhawks’ 54-game win streak in Lawrence and No. 2 Baylor fall to Kansas State, the Sooners hoped to join in on the upsets with a second win against Texas Tech. They would not, however, as the Red Raiders held strong for their 16th win of the season, 77-69. Here’s how it all played out:

  • Both teams went back and forth through the first five minutes of the game. An and-1 from Rashard Odomes and a Kameron McGusty three got OU out to an early 8-4 lead, before the Red Raiders climbed back to go up 10-8 before the first media timeout.
  • With six lead changes coming by the under-12 timeout, Texas Tech began taking control of the game as Oklahoma began relying on the three, making only 2-of-11 to only nine two-point field-goal attempts, and found themselves down 23-14 with 7:30 to go in the first half.
  • Kameron McGusty was the only Sooner to connect from beyond the arc in the first, as his third three and points in the paint from Rashard Odomes, Kristian Doolittle and Khadeem Lattin rallied the Sooners back to within six at the 3:02 mark in the first.
  • But the Raiders got hot from long range and went 6-of-14 from three to take a 36-29 lead into halftime. McGusty kept Oklahoma close with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, while Lattin added seven along with four rebounds through the first frame. Jordan Woodard had only two points on 1-of-4 shooting at halftime.
  • Khadeem Lattin started out the second half with a monster dunk, and Woodard on his first two threes of the game to bring the Sooners back to within one, 38-37. Oklahoma’s senior stars and the offense were back in rhythm. Then, Rashard Odomes gave the Sooners their first lead in the second half at 39-38 with an aggressive move and layup inside.
  • The back-and-forth action was back on, as Tech connected from deep once again, and McGusty answered back with his fourth three-pointer of the game, putting the Sooners up two at 44-42. Tech’s Aaron Ross came back with another to give the Raiders a 45-44 lead with 12 minutes to go in the game.
  • A firestorm of threes then erupted in Lubbock as the Red Raiders went on a 12-3 run to take a 54-47 lead before JuCo transfer Darrion Strong-Moore, out with injury the last two games, scored Oklahoma’s next eight points on two threes and a layup to bring the Sooners back within two at 54-52 with eight minutes left.
  • With Texas Tech leading by four with five minutes to go in the game, Jordan Woodard’s three brought the Sooners back to within one at 62-61. It would be the closest OU would get the rest of the way.
  • The Red Raiders continued their offensive efficiency and built a seven-point lead at 71-64 before a late three from Doolittle brought OU back to within four with 36 seconds to go. But Texas Tech rarely flinched at the foul line, going 17-of-20 from the stripe after starting out 10-of-10 in the game, and closed out the Sooners by eight, 77-69.
  • Aaron Ross led Texas Tech with 18 points, while Keenan Evans and Justin Gray added 14 each. Four Sooners finished in double figures, led by Kameron McGusty’s 16 followed by Odomes with 13 and 11 each from Woodard and Lattin. Oklahoma shot 25-of-60 from the field to Texas Tech’s 25-52, and both teams connected on 10 threes. Tech’s 17 made free throws to the Sooners’ nine ended up being the difference.

3 Takeaways

1) Kam McNasty

Kameron McGusty became the first OU freshman to score in double digits in 10 straight games since forward Jeff Webster in 1990-91. McGusty’s streak includes 20 points against K-State, 21 against Texas, and 22 versus the Pokes. His long-range shot and confidence continue to grow, as the true frosh connected on a career-high four three pointers against Tech. He’s a true star in the making.

2) Bench Woes

The Sooners got just 10 points from their bench to the Red Raiders 18. Though Darrion Strong-Moore gave OU a spark in the second half, Christian James and Dante Buford failed to score in their 14 minutes on the floor. Seriously, what happened to these guys?

3) This sums it up:

There is much upside and promise with this young group. These close, disappointing losses are sure to turn into wins next season. It’s been a trip, though, that’s for sure. Sigh...on to the next one, I guess.

Oklahoma hosts West Virginia Wednesday at 8:00 PM CT at the LNC. The game will be shown on ESPN2.