Originally Published: Dec 12, 2009 6:28 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Oklahoma men’s basketball team squandered a late lead and went into overtime because of struggles at the charity stripe, but turned its free-throw shooting around in the extra period to escape with a 78-73 victory.
The Sooners (7-3) held a 65-63 lead with less than a minute left in regulation and the normally reliable Cade Davis at the free-throw line. He missed one of two shots and freshman Tommy Mason-Griffin did the same seconds later, allowing Utah’s Carlon Brown to hit a lay-up to force overtime.
The Utes (5-5) jumped out to a quick four-point lead in the extra period, but Willie Warren made a lay-up, then hit a 3-pointer to give OU a 72-71 lead. The Sooners did not trail for the rest of the period thanks to much better consistency at the free-throw line.
Tony Crocker and Mason-Griffin each made both of their free-throw attempts, building OU’s lead and helping hold off Utah’s attempts at a comeback. Mason-Griffin then came up with a timely steal to essentially seal the win for the Sooners.
Willie Warren led all scorers with 27 points, but struggled to make shots. He went 1-for-10 in the first half and finished 7-of-22, but scored 11 points at the free-throw line. Mason-Griffin finished with 18 points, and Crocker added 12.
Carlon Brown led Utah with 16 points, while Luka Drca and Jay Watkins each scored 13.
OU jumped out to a 14-3 lead to start the game, but allowed Utah to quickly erase that deficit and gain an 11-point lead of its own. The Sooners could not get much going on the offensive end, and the Utes went into halftime leading 42-36.
OU responded by going on a 12-2 run to start the second half, and the two teams remained close for the rest of the game.
The Sooners have now won five in a row after suffering a three-game losing streak. They have four more games – including one on the road against No. 21 Gonzaga – before beginning conference play against Baylor.
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.