No. 20 Oklahoma muscles past Men's Basketball
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Lawrence McKenzie scored 16 points and No. 20 Oklahoma muscled past Texas 74-58 Monday night, dealing a serious blow to the Longhorns' hopes of making the NCAA tournament.
David Godbold added 14 points for the Sooners (22-6, 11-4), in a game that featured the rugged play typical of one of the Big 12's most intense rivalries.
The Sooners' fifth straight win kept them within a game of conference leader Kansas. They also clinched a bye in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.
Daniel Gibson scored 16 points to lead Texas (19-9, 8-7), which badly needed a win to shore up an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Longhorns can finish no worse than .500 in league play, but are just 5-6 over the last five weeks since losing P.J. Tucker, their best player, for the season because of academic problems.
Texas is just 1-4 against ranked opponents and ends the regular season on the road against the one team they did beat, No. 8 Oklahoma State, when Tucker was still in the lineup.
Oklahoma beat Texas with power on the boards and speed in transition. The Sooners dominated the rebounding 39-29 and scored 23 points off 15 Texas turnovers.
Defensively, they locked down Gibson for most of the game, denying him drives to the basket and neutralizing him as a 3-point shooter until late.
Oklahoma grabbed the lead and established control midway through the first half with a 13-0 run. Godbold hit two 3-pointers and the Sooners finished a fast break with a dunk when Terrell Everett dished to Johnnie Gilbert who was trailing on the play.
Later in the half, McKenzie hit consecutive 3s and Gilbert leaped high out of bounds for a loose ball before firing a long pass back to McKenzie for another 3 and the Sooners took a 39-29 halftime lead.
A 10-0 Sooners run to open the second half sent the Longhorns scrambling to catch up the rest of the game.
Everett had two steals on the first two Texas possessions, converting one layup himself and passing to Godbold for another as the Sooners stretched the lead to 49-31.
Gibson hit two 3-pointers late that helped Texas to cut it under 10 in the final 90 seconds before the Sooners went 8-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory. Oklahoma went 20-of-27 from the line for the game.
ON THE TEAM: I don't think anyone can play any harder than our three freshmen did tonight. Daniel was guarded the whole time. He does a good job moving without the ball. Mike Williams and Jason played terrific. It is hard when players like Sydmill and Kenton can't practice. That will catch up with you eventually, especially this time of year.
ON OU: OU is a very athletic team. Their guard play is more athletic, and in a jumping contest, they won most of the possessions.
Daniel Gibson, Freshman Guard
Jason Klotz, Senior Center
ON TEXAS' POSTSEASON POTENTIAL: I think we can do it if we all show up. We can beat anyone when we all play our best. We just have to play as a team, and not just half of us.
ON TEXAS IN THE TOURNAMENT: It really depends. We were 8-8 last year and we didn't get in. There are a lot of similarities between us last year and Texas this year. We had key injuries. If they had P.J. Tucker and LaMarcus Aldridge, they would not be 8-7 and they would definitely not be 19-9. Those players aren't role players, they are impact guys. I give respect to Rick (Barnes) for dealing with losing players like he did.
Terrell Everett, Junior Guard
ON DANIEL GIBSON: Defending him was a big key. Daniel's a tremendous player. We tried to do our best to limit his touches on the ball. We knew we had to contain him to win the game.
Johnnie Gilbert, Senior Forward
ON TEXAS: I have a lot of respect for their players, especially Klotz. Texas is a good team and I wish them the best of luck.