In a wild country roads showdown, the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners completed their regular season sweep over the No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers (14-6, 7-4) with a 91-90 double OT victory in Morgantown. With the win, OU climbs to second place in the Big 12 standings and improves to 13-5 on the season, 8-4 in conference play.
All five Sooner starters scored in double figures on Saturday, including junior guard Umoja Gibson, who remained in the starting lineup while senior guard Alondes Williams came off the bench in his return to the court after missing OU’s last three games due to COVID protocol. Gibson followed up his season-high 29 points in the first contest against WVU with 21 on the day (5-10 from beyond the arc). Meanwhile, senior guard Austin Reaves was his usual clutch self as he led Oklahoma in scoring with 28 points while accounting for nine rebounds, seven assists and a steal.
In regulation, both teams honed in on the defensive ends of the floor and limited the other from the field in the early going, but the struggle didn’t last. Just when it looked like OU would have a little breathing going into the halftime break, the Mountaineers found buried treasure with a half-court heave to tie the game up at 31-all. In the second half, the Sooners fell into a groove on offense and eventually led by as many as nine before Bob Huggins’ squad rallied with their usual full-court defense and highly efficient inside scoring. West Virginia had a chance to break the 72-72 tie down the stretch, but ultimately came up short, sending this one to overtime.
Oklahoma found itself in some serious foul trouble during the bonus periods, with both Reaves and senior forward Brady Manek sporting four fouls apiece. To make matters more difficult, junior guard Elijah Harkless fouled out in the second OT period. Fortunately for Lon Kruger’s crew, that was the extent of the damage as everyone else remained in the game. Speaking of Reaves, he made the game-winning jumper in the final minute, then senior center Kur Kuath sealed the deal with a successful defensive stance against the dominant Derek Culver.
Up next, Oklahoma returns to the friendly confines of the Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Feb. 16 for another Red River clash with the Texas Longhorns. Last month, the Sooners visited the Forty Acres and came away with an 80-79 win. Tip-off for this one is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
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