Sooners down Red River Rival Texas

OU forward Romero Osby

NORMAN, Okla. — In the second half the Sooners took command of an ugly game and ended their six-game losing streak to the Texas Longhorns with a 73-67 victory on Big Monday at Lloyd Noble Center.

Forward Romero Osby asserted his dominance in order to do so.

The Longhorns truly had no answer for the senior who put together a career-high 29 points on 9-for-15 field goal shooting and 10-of-11 at the charity stripe to go along with eight rebounds.

"Testament to my teammates and Coach," Osby said. "Coach was running stuff for me. My teammates were finding me and giving me the ball. That's why I didn't have to do much with it but just make an individual move. And I just have to give—the 29 points came from them. They really helped me and of course the free throw line, but yeah, things were just clicking for me a little bit tonight."

OU also got out in the transition game, scoring 10 fastbreak points boosted by 15 Texas turnovers.

Six of those points came on a trio of rim-rocking dunks by forward Amath M'Baye courtesy of guards Buddy Hield and Sam Grooms.

It's known as Lob City for former Sooner Blake Griffin in L.A.; perhaps it turned into Lob Noble for M'Baye and the rest of the current Sooners on this night.

"Lobs are always a huge part on the guard," M'Baye said. "I'm just up there and finishing it. They're the one finding me. They're the one doing the effort to lob the pass."

They also made due at the free throw line, where they attempted 27 free throws to just 11 for Texas. They hit 21 of those for 77.8 percent.

All around, simply put, they just outplayed the Longhorns on this night, aside from losing the rebounding battle 34-32.

"I thought they fought hard from the start," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "Guys did a terrific job, came out with great energy in the second half and was really aggressive on both ends of the floor."

It wasn't without a fight from Texas guard Sheldon McClellan, however.

In a contest in which the Big 12 Conference's best statistical defense held Longhorn starters to 23 points, McClellan still managed 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting.

"I thought he was terrific," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "And what I mean by that was mentally he was engaged. He communicated more tonight. I thought he had great dialogue."

But outside of forward Joannis Papapetrou, who hit a couple late 3-pointers to manage his 12 points, the support just wasn't there for him.

Some of that can be attributed to the injury of forward Jonathan Holmes, who broke his hand in the first half.

"Arguably, he is one of our top two players," Barnes said. "He got into foul trouble late in the last game and we played through it. He played more minutes than some of the post players. But that's why you have a team. One thing's for certain now: those young guys are going to get a lot of experience. We need them to play and develop.

"Holmes offensively made a couple of poor decisions, but he doesn't know how it happened. He just knew there was something wrong."

Meanwhile, two other Sooners joined Osby in double figures, including M'Baye with 15 and Hield, who tallied 12.

As that would indicate, the Sooners did most of their damage in the paint, where they scored 34 points; they canned just two 3-pointers on six attempts.

"You'd like to make more, but this group's been shooting the ball better of late from three," Kruger said. "But we're not that concerned about it if we've got good flow, good attack. Scored a bunch in transition. And again, when you got Roe going like that, kinda hard not to get him the ball a bunch."

The Sooners outshot Texas 48.1 percent to 44.3 percent.

It's a huge win for the Crimson and Cream because it keeps them among the upper third of the conference through a third of the season.

OU (13-4, 4-1 Big 12) heads to No. 3 Kansas for a 3 p.m. CT Saturday battle inside Allen Fieldhouse.

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