Oklahoma easily puts end to UT home streak, 75-54

Sunday, February 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

AUSTIN – Oklahoma's J.R. Raymond was no mystery, no refugee off the bench. He was the main reason the No. 21 Sooners came into the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday night with a six-game winning streak, having averaged 20.3 points over that stretch.

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So the Texas Longhorns' mission was clear: use their Big 12-leading 3-point shooting defense to negate him and OU's other perimeter stars and defend their 25-game home winning streak, the fourth longest in the nation.

Mission unaccomplished.

The Longhorns put five different players on Raymond, and that was just the first half. The result: Raymond was 5-of-5 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes as the Sooners rode a 13-point lead at intermission to a 75-54 victory.

"Their defense couldn't catch up with how fast our offense was running, and I got open for shots," said Raymond, who finished 6-of-9 with 19 points. "The team chemistry right now is unbelievable. We are always having fun, whether it's in games or practices."

"The pressure was on them with the home winning streak and the need to protect your home court," said OU guard Nolan Johnson, who led the Sooners with 23 points. "We just had fun and played."

Oklahoma (19-4, 8-3) has won seven straight and continued its dominance over Texas (17-7, 6-4), having won 20 of the past 24 in the series and four of the last six in Austin. The Sooners are the only Big 12 team that has a winning record at Texas (6-4) since the Longhorns moved into the Erwin Center in 1978.

OU trails first-place Kansas and Iowa State by just one-half game in the Big 12. UT fell to fifth place, one-half game behind Missouri.

The Longhorns will finish with more than three losses in league play for the first time in Barnes' three years as coach.

"We got beat every way you can break it down," Barnes said.

If Texas had any hope of getting back into this one, the Longhorns, who got a locker-room visit from 7-foot alum Chris Mihm, had to establish a new tone after halftime.

Instead, five different Sooners scored in a 14-2 run to open the second half, hitting six of their first seven shots, while building a 59-34 lead with 15:12 left. OU led by as many as 29 before emptying its bench. Many of the 13,222 who attended the nationally televised game were gone with 10 minutes to play.

UT's woes can be traced to ineffective rebounding. OU won the battle of the boards, 48-29, getting numerous second-chance baskets, while UT had to settle for one shot. Texas has been outrebounded in five of its last six games, the last three by a margin of 17.3.

Texas also shot below 60 percent from the free-throw line (50 percent) for the fifth time in the last six games.

Raymond, meanwhile, had plenty of help as the Sooners shot 47.1 percent while limiting Texas, the Big 12's worst-shooting team, to 32.2 percent.

Chris Owens of Duncanville, who averages 14.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, attempted only two shots (making both), had just one rebound and no blocks, finishing with seven points.