The Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball team traveled down to Lubbock with a major opportunity to sweep the No. 9 Texas Tech Red Raiders, and for a large part of the first half it looked like that was in play. However, after the Sooners got within four points with just under four minutes to go in the first half, the offense stalled out and Texas Tech took over, ultimately winning going away, 66-42.
After the Sooners cut the lead to 25-21, OU went on an 8 minute 46-second scoring drought that spanned the final four minutes of the first half and the first four of the second half. In that time the Red Raiders lead ballooned to 17, 39-22. To go along with the first drought, the Red Raiders also went on a 19-0 run to blow the game wide open late in the second half.
This has been a problem for Oklahoma all season long, scoring droughts that effectively eliminate the Sooners from making a realistic late game push.
Now the offense wasn’t good the rest of the game anyway, with no Sooners scoring in double-figures, in fact, this was the first time since at least the 2004-2005 season that not one Sooner was able to net at least 10 points.
However, The energy wasn’t there regardless of any statistics. This game was decided early in the second half and the Sooners put up little effort to flip the script.
Now, you have to give Tech their credit; the Red Raider defense is elite and proved it once again on Tuesday, forcing 21 turnovers, stealing the ball 11 times and scoring 26 points off of those turnovers.
The Red Raiders were just better all around. Tech dominated the second half, 37-20, won the rebounding battle 31-17 and shot 58.3% from the field, compared to Oklahoma’s 36.4%.
Overall, there’s no more margin for error for the Sooners. Oklahoma now sits at .500 on the season, 14-14, and an abysmal 4-11 in Big 12 play. Heading into Tuesday’s game Joe Lunardi, slated OU as one of the first four teams outside of March Madness, and then OU lost again. There are three games remaining, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and at Kansas State, who all have 12+ losses. The Sooners need all three and potentially another win in Kansas City to force their way into the Big Dancd. Without Elijah Harkless, the lack of consistent scoring and a stagnant bench, the Sooners are in bad shape heading into must win territory. If the energy doesn’t return, it’s time to start looking to the 2022-2023 season.
The Sooners try to get back above .500 this Saturday when the Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-14 overall, 6-9 Big 12) come to the Lloyd Noble Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. on CBS.