No. 25 OU Posts Wire-to-Wire Win at Tech
January 26, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
OU SPORTS RELEASE
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger finally saw a full game from his No. 25 Sooners.
They held off Texas Tech 74-65 on Saturday.
"I thought our guys played really hard. Maybe for 40 minutes (it was) as consistently solid basketball as we've (played) all year," he said. "This group is growing. I told them in the locker room afterward, the progress we've made since the TCU game on Wednesday is the biggest step that we've taken."
Buddy Hield scored 18 points, 12 on 3-pointers, Cameron Clark added 17 points and Jordan Woodard had 15 to lead the Sooners (16-4, 5-2 Big 12).
Woodard believes he's repaying the coaching staff for their confidence in him.
"They want me to have more control from the point guard spot in the game, especially on the road," he said. "I just want to be there for my teammates and my teammates put us in a position to win."
Ryan Spangler had 10 of Oklahoma's 28 rebounds. Hield was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and Clark was 8 of 12 from the field.
The Sooners got 14 points off Texas Tech's 11 turnovers; the Red Raiders got just three points off Oklahoma's seven turnovers.
Oklahoma never trailed but allowed the Red Raiders to pull within 56-52 late in the second half.
But Texas Tech missed four free throws down the stretch that could have made it tighter, while the Sooners hit 5 of their last 6 from the line to seal the win.
"They challenged us the entire second half and they were right there coming back," Kruger said. "Cam bounced back and had a good ball game. Ryan did what he always does. A lot of guys played well and it took that."
Jordan Tolbert and Jaye Crockett scored 14 points each for the Red Raiders (10-10, 2-5).
Woodard hit all three of his 3-point attempts and had eight assists.
Texas Tech finished the game shooting 42 percent (24 of 57) from the field while Oklahoma hit exactly half of its 54 shots.
"They out-coached and out-maneuvered us and we got beat again tonight," Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. "It was disappointing. I was discouraged. I don't know if the effort's there, it just doesn't seem to be the same smooth synchronized movements that we need."
Texas Tech had the edge on the boards, 33-28. The Red Raiders had 13 offensive rebounds to just six for the Sooners.
The Sooners went up 47-34 after Hield put back a missed layup by Clark with 16:04 remaining. But 3 minutes later Texas Tech, as part of a 13-5 run, pulled within 47-42 after a layup by Alex Foster, a 3 from Tolbert and a break-away layup and free throw by Dusty Hannahs.
Oklahoma went up 56-48 with 7:55 remaining on two free throws each by Tyler Neal and Je'lon Hornbeak, and a jumper by Clark.
Crockett got three straight baskets, including a jumper, a layup and a dunk on an alley-oop assist from Hannahs, to whittle the deficit to 59-54 with 5:33 remaining.
But missed free throws kept the Red Raiders from pulling closer late. Toddrick Gotcher and Robert Turner missed one each and Tolbert missed two. As a team they went 13 for 20 from the line.
"We had some chances to maybe cut it and get it closer," Smith said. "We've been a pretty good free throw shooting team for the most part but today we missed some in the second half. We need those, we needed every basket, especially when we're struggling and not taking care of the ball and we get a free shot. You got to make it."
Oklahoma, meanwhile, hit all six of its free throws in the last 3 1/2 minutes.
The Sooners got 10 points off six Texas Tech turnovers and kept the Red Raiders from making a field goal for about 5 minutes late in the first half to take a 38-29 halftime lead.