Senior Sendoff in Style

OU guard Cade Davis

Senior guard Cade Davis snatched the final rebound and chucked it into the air, punctuating a storybook ending for the Sooners after not such a storybook season, as he led them on his Senior Day to a 64-61 nail-biting Bedlam victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in front of 7,734 Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

"It was a thank-you Jesus," Davis said of the moment. "With everything going on and our losing streak, with people doubting us, we've tried our hardest each and every game all year long [and] to finally get a win at home, and for me individually on senior night, it was a relief. It was a wonderful thing to get."

The errant 3-point attempt from Pokes guard Reger Dowell would have tied the game and sent it to overtime.

Instead, the Sooners snapped their eight-game losing streak and won for the first time since Feb. 2 when they defeated Baylor.

"We needed a win," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "It wasn't pretty. I thought both teams played hard. We were able to grind out a victory."

And it was in very large part because of Davis.

He scored 11 points in each half, hitting three field goals and five free throws in each 20 minutes en route to a game-high 22, to guide the Sooners to this massive win.

"Cade was terrific," Capel said. "And it was really great for him to have that kind of a performance on Senior Day."

Despite that, it wasn't easy for the Sooners throughout, although it seemed like it would be in the beginning.

OU leapt out to an 11-point lead in the first half as OSU made just one field goal in the first 7:18 of the contest.

At that point, it was 13-2, but the Cowboys then responded to close the gap.

By the seven-minute mark of the first half, it was notched up at 19.

The Sooners moved their lead back out to six, but the Cowboys used a 7-0 spurt to close the half, fueled by a missed shot and a turnover, to take the narrow 33-32 advantage into intermission.

"I thought we had a chance to have a bigger lead than we had," Capel said. "Then, we started turning it over. They were able to get back and took the lead at the half."

The Cowboys built what became their largest lead of the game at 35-32 in the first minute of the second half on a pair of free throws from forward Marshall Moses.

However, OU quickly bounced back, re-seizing the lead in just a couple minutes.

The Sooners never trailed again.

Davis punctuated a 6-0 run with a rim-rocking, crowd-pleasing slam with 14:38 remaining to make it 42-36.

At the same time, the Sooners were stepping it up defensively, as they held OSU to just 34.6 percent shooting in the second half.

"I thought we were really good in the second half as far as containing them defensively," Capel said. "In the first half they were just putting their head down driving. We were fouling, which was reminiscent of the first time we played them."

That prompted some halftime changes.

"So, the second half we went almost exclusively zone," Capel said. "We just wanted to try to make them make contested shots. We wanted to try to keep them out of the paint. We wanted to play without fouling, and I thought our guys did a pretty good job of that."

And it was just enough to stave off a late OSU rally that saw the visitors cut the deficit from six with less than two minutes to play to two in the final 30 seconds.

Along with Davis, two other Sooners finished in double figures, as guards Cameron Clark and Steven Pledger had 15 and 11, respectively.

Moses led four Cowboys in double figures with his 16.

Guards Markel Brown, Jean-Paul Olukemi and Reger Dowell added 12, 10 and 10, respectively.

Pending the outcome of a couple Big 12 games remaining Saturday night, this victory places them as either the 10th or 11th seed with an opponent to be determined in next week's Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

Oklahoma State will be the No. 9 seed.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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