Originally Published: Feb 6, 2010 5:45 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma men survived a second-half comeback to defeat Texas 80-71 in the Red River Rivalry Saturday.
The Sooners (13-9, 4-4) used hot shooting – particularly from 3-point range – to build a big lead early in the game. They made 52 percent of their shots and 56 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. Nearly half of their total shots in the half came from long range.
OU started the game on an 11-3 run thanks to Texas (19-4, 5-3) making only one of its first five free-throw attempts, a problem that would haunt the Longhorns for the rest of the game. As the Sooners’ shooting accuracy waxed and waned, the teams traded scoring runs.
After its big spurt to start the game, OU went on other runs of 12-2 and 14-1, and Texas responded with runs of 11-2 and 7-0. But the Sooners closed the first half strong and went into the locker room with a 48-30 lead.
Tommy Mason-Griffin and Cade Davis led the scoring barrage in the first half. Both players made four 3-pointers and finished the half with 16 points, outscoring the entire Texas team by themselves.
Mason-Griffin and Davis cooled down significantly in the second half, allowing the Longhorns to climb back into striking distance. Texas’ Avery Bradley made a big steal midway through the half that sparked an 8-1 run and cut the OU lead to six.
However, the Longhorns’ constant free-throw troubles were their Achilles heel. They missed several opportunities to make the game a two-possession contest, and finished the game just 10-of-27 from the charity stripe. They actually shot better from the field (41 percent) than they did from the line (37 percent).
Meanwhile, the Sooners made 20 of their 28 attempts from the free-throw line. After Texas drew within five points late in the game, free throws by Mason-Griffin, Steven Pledger and Willie Warren helped seal the win. Warren was clearly still suffering from an ankle injury and only scored three points in 16 minutes of action.
Tommy Mason-Griffin led all scorers with 24 points, and Cade Davis finished with 20. Avery Bradley led the Longhorns with 21 points, while Damion James scored 12 and Gary Johnson added 11 off the bench.
Texas has now lost four of its last six games and has struggled ever since earning the nation’s No. 1 ranking. The Longhorns entered Saturday ranked No. 10 and are sure to drop again after the loss.
The Sooners continue to have success in Norman. They are now 11-0 in true home games, but have won only one true road game all season. They will try to stay undefeated at home when they host Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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