AUSTIN, Texas – Looking at the Oklahoma basketball schedule, and it’s not too friendly for the Sooners. A tougher start for the conference would be tough to imagine.
But it just got a little better with the way OU closed out its first conference game with a gut-check 88-85 victory at Texas on Saturday night. It is the Sooners’ first win in Austin since 2005.
Freshman guard Jordan Woodard, who was dormant for most of the night, scored OU’s final 10 points and was 8-of-10 from the free throw line down the stretch. He only had two point up until that point.
The win improves OU to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in conference, a major victory with top-25 battles with Kansas and Iowa State coming up this week in Norman.
It was Woodard late, but it was sophomore guard Buddy Hield throughout most of the night. Hield was 8-of-14 from the field and made four 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 22 points.
OU connected on 13 3-pointers in the game, including receiving three makes from bench players Frank Booker and Tyler Neal. Coming off the bench, Neal scored a season-high 13 points.
Woodard made eight straight free throws but missed his final two with the score 88-85. However, the Longhorns came up short on their game-tying three-point attempt. A scrum led to a jump ball with the possession arrow belonging to OU with 2 seconds left.
OU forward Ryan Spangler leaked out and caught the inbounds pass across halfcourt and ran out the final two ticks for the victory.
Despite being the much smaller team, OU outrebounded Texas 39-28 although it didn’t correlate with points in the paint where Texas held a huge 42-20 edge.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins scored 13 points but was ejected after receiving his second technical with OU up 78-76, but the Sooners were able to overcome that mistake.
Sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak was unable to score, but he did have two assists in 14 minutes in his first game back after a foot injury.
OU had a 12-point lead but found itself trailing by seven point midway through the second half before Hield was able to get things rolling once again.
With the Jayhawks coming to Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday and Iowa State on Saturday, it was imperative for the Sooners to get back in the win column after a disappointing overtime loss to Louisiana Tech on Monday.