The Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball team has earned four Top-15 victories so far in the 2021-2022 season, but couldn’t add a fifth top-20 W Tuesday night, falling to the No. 20 Texas Longhorns in overtime, 80-78.
OU held strong with UT most of the game, even leading 42-37 with just over 12 minutes left in the matchup, but then an all-too-familiar struggle reared its ugly head as the Sooners went on a scoring drought that lasted 3:11, allowing Texas to score 11 straight points and take the lead 48-42. OU did force overtime with a Jordan Goldwire bank shot to tie the game at 66, but in overtime the Oklahoma defense just couldn’t get it done. OU scored 10 in the extra time, but allowed UT to shoot 5-7 from the field and net 14 total points.
The Sooners starters produced even though Tanner Groves contributed just four points, four scoring in double-digits. Elijah Harkless with another great outing, putting up 19 points. Goldwire added in 18 points, Umoja Gibson 17 & Jalen Hill 16. Texas only added seven points off the bench, but the Sooners need more than four points from theirs if they want to pull off these important, late-season victories.
Also, what’s become a trend in recent games, Tanner Groves saw limited action late in the game, including being sat on the bench in OT, until the final four seconds.
Finally, the three ball wasn’t falling like it was against Texas Tech; the Sooners shot just 5-23 (21.7%) from beyond the arc. That lack of efficiency killed the momentum for a Sooners offense that already has the tendency to go cold through their games. OU won the rebounding battle 31-30, but once again turned the ball over 12 times, compared to the Longhorns nine.
It’s a tough league, but bad shooting, a thin bench and a defense that hasn't stepped up in its most crucial moments has led the Sooners to a 14-12 overall record.
Oklahoma is back in action on Saturday at the Iowa State Cyclones, who have lost four straight games heading into Tuesday night and sit at 16-9 overall, 3-9 in Big 12 play. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN+.