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Sooners Take Down Utah in Overtime

OU head coach Jeff Capel. OU head coach Jeff Capel.

Originally Published: Dec 12, 2009 6:28 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
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.

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