Texas Tech coach Bob Knight paused in the doorway when he crossed paths with Oklahoma forward Taylor Griffin, extending his right hand to the reserve who'd become a key player again when his brother got hurt.
"You're the guy that beat us out there,'' Knight said in a brief encounter between the two inside the Lloyd Noble Center interview room.
Griffin matched his career high with 16 points and pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season and lead Oklahoma to a 63-61 win against Texas Tech on Saturday.
Griffin, playing increased minutes after younger brother Blake sprained a ligament in his left knee, made a jumper from the foul line to tie the game and then put the Sooners (13-5, 1-2 Big 12) ahead 53-52 by making one of two free throws with 4:56 remaining.
Oklahoma didn't relinquish the lead after that, on its way to winning its first game without Blake Griffin. The team's leading scorer and rebounder could be out as long as four weeks.
"He's an incredible player, and we're going to miss him,'' said Taylor Griffin, who relinquished his starting role after his brother arrived this season. "It's going to be a lot harder without him. But anything that we can improve on while he's gone is going to make us better when he gets back.''
David Godbold followed Griffin's free throw with a jumper and Tony Crocker hit a 3-pointer from the left corner as Oklahoma took a lead bigger than one point for the first time.
The Red Raiders closed within two on Mike Singletary's driving layup with 38.7 seconds left and had a chance to tie after Trevor Cook blocked Austin Johnson's right-handed runner with 9 seconds left.
Freshman John Roberson rushed the ball up the court, but his running shot in the lane caromed off the rim just before the final horn sounded.
Knight, in his first game since becoming the first Division I men's coach to win 900 games, said Roberson should have pulled up for a 3-pointer or passed to sharpshooter Alan Voskuil so he could take a 3. But Knight didn't think there were enough ticks left on the clock to risk a timeout to set that up.
Longar Longar ended up with 16 points and nine rebounds, Crocker added 15 points and Godbold scored 11 as Oklahoma avoided opening Big 12 play 0-3 for only the second time.
Martin Zeno led Texas Tech (10-7, 1-2) with 17 points, and Roberson and Voskuil each scored 14.
Oklahoma used a 10-2 run to take its first lead since the opening minutes on Longar's double-pump layup under the basket with 7:31 remaining. Tech recovered to take a two-point lead twice before Taylor Griffin put the Sooners ahead to stay.
"This was a really big win for us, greatly needed,'' Sooners coach Jeff Capel said.
The Red Raiders led by as many as seven on two occasions in the first half, and matched their largest lead on Singletary's layup that made it 45-38.
Crocker started Oklahoma's comeback with a 3-pointer from the right side, and converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound to close the gap to one and put the Sooners within striking distance.
"Without Blake being here, it's an opportunity for everybody to step up,'' Taylor Griffin said. "I think we tried to force a lot of things individually in the first half, and in the second half we did a lot better job of just letting the game come to us.''
But while the junior enjoyed being back in the spotlight again, Taylor Griffin knows the Sooners are better off when his younger brother is in uniform instead of the green sweater and jeans he wore on the sidelines for this game.
"You all know he's a huge presence out there, offensively and defensively. There's a lot more balls that I can go up and get rebounds without another 6-10 guy out there,'' he joked. "I'm not upset about that.''
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