Oklahoma 71, Louisiana Tech 67 OT

Sunday, December 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ It seemed every time Oklahoma needed a big play Saturday, Hollis Price found a way to deliver.

Price scored a season-high 25 points to help the Sooners beat Louisiana Tech 71-67 in overtime.

``We've got a lot of confidence and trust in Hollis,'' coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``We were calling plays for Hollis, wanting to get the ball in his hands, and he delivered.''

Price scored 14 second-half points when Oklahoma (5-1) was struggling on offense. The Sooners shot only 32 percent (8 of 25) after the break, but still led 51-41 when Price hit a 3-pointer with 8:35 remaining.

But Louisiana Tech (4-2) rallied behind the long-range shooting of Gerrod Henderson, who made 5 of 8 of his 3-point tries.

After Price hit two free throws to give Oklahoma a 60-57 lead with 45 seconds left, Henderson answered with his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 6.2 seconds left.

Price missed on a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but the Sooners got five points each from Ebi Ere and Quannas White in overtime to help secure the victory.

``We knew Louisiana Tech would test us. That's the best rebounding team we've faced,'' said Sampson, whose Sooners gave up 18 offensive rebounds to the Bulldogs. ``I liked our defense, but once we got up by nine or 10, I thought we let down a little bit.''

Louisiana Tech led twice in overtime, the second time 66-65 on two free throws by Henderson with 2:21 left.

A jumper by Ere with just over two minutes remaining gave the Sooners the lead for good, 67-66. Tech missed twice on its next possession and Ere followed with a free throw with 1:06 to play.

The Bulldogs got within 68-67 on a free throw by Lavelle Felton with 32.2 seconds left, then White sank two from the line and Aaron McGhee made another free throw to seal the victory.

The Sooners made all three of their field goal attempts in overtime, and were 5 of 7 from the line during the overtime period.

``I wanted to be aggressive and force the issue, make plays,'' said Price, who finished 7 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

McGhee and Ere both scored 14 points, and White added 10.

Henderson led the Bulldogs with 21 points. Darrian Brown had 15 points and 12 rebounds.