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OU Falls Short Against Stephen F. Austin

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Sooners rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to take the lead late, but fell  short at the end on Tuesday at the Lloyd Noble Center, losing to Stephen F. Austin 56-55.

The Sooners used an 18-6 spurt to take their final lead of the game, 52-51, with 4:40 left in regulation. Stephen F. Austin responded with a three-point play with 2:58 left, but the Sooners tied it on the next possession on a Steven Pledger jumper.

A pair of free throws by Hal Bateman with 1:04 left turned out to be the game-winning points for the Lumberjacks. On Oklahoma's final possession, freshman guard Buddy Hield penetrated and drew two trips to the free-throw line with four seconds left, but was only able to convert one as Stephen F. Austin escaped with a 56-55 win.

Freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak nailed two 3-pointers during OU's comeback, including the one that gave the Sooners the lead. Hornbeak and Pledger scored 12 points each to lead OU. Hield pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to lead all players.

Senior forward Romero Osby was limited throughout the second-half due to foul trouble.

Pledger and Hornbeak led Oklahoma with 12 points each, while Hield pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Taylor Smith led SFA with 14 points.

The Sooners led 30-26 at halftime, but the Lumberjacks came out of the locker room scorching, using a 19-4 run to lead 45-34 with 12:52 remaining. From there, Oklahoma was forced to play catch-up.

Stephen F. Austin snapped Oklahoma's 36-game non-conference home winning streak with the victory.  Oddly enough, the Lumberjacks were also the last team to beat the Sooners in non-conference action at Lloyd Noble Center (66-62 on Dec. 8, 2007).  SFA improved to 8-1 while OU fell to 7-3.

The Sooners return to the court on Dec. 29 when they host Ohio at 6 p.m. in Norman.

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