Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/17/12

Romero Osby records a career high five rejections, along with 15 points as the Sooners grind one out over Texas Tech (photo from Soonersports.com)

If you enjoy a fast-paced, high-scoring game in which teams are trading buckets until the final buzzer, then you probably wouldn’t have found Tuesday evening’s contest between the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Tech Red Raiders very interesting. Oklahoma shot just 39% from the field and a dismal 9% from beyond the arc.  Their opponents didn’t do much better, only netting only 32% of their shots, in a game guided by miscues.  Ultimately, Sooners used the home court to their advantage in this one, grinding out a 64-55 win in the final minutes.

The first half seemed endless.  Neither team could find their stride, simply grudging along and waiting for some form of offense to appear. It wasn’t until late in the half that it finally arrived, when Oklahoma went out with a 13-4 run, that secured them a seven point lead at the half.

Cameron Clark kept the Raiders at an arm’s length from the Sooners in the first, stepping comfortably into his newfound reserve role for 10 points on the night. Clark showed an aggressiveness tonight that had been concealed in the previous league games, attacking the basket with a new assertiveness and it seemed to work in his favor, as he found his way to the foul line for 4-6 tonight.

It was the Raiders who came out with the hot hand in the first half however, quickly trimming the Sooner lead back down to two.  The Sooners would never yield the lead though, and after being held without a field goal for nearly five minutes, Romero Osby laid one in to spark what would turn into a mini 8-1 Sooner run that would put the game out of arm’s reach for the Raiders.

In fact, Osby came up clutch in a number of ways down the stretch tonight, going 7-8 from the charity stripe in the final minute and scoring 11 of his 15 points in the last five.  A career high five blocks on the defensive end, as well as team-high eight boards are why he is the Sooner Player of the Game.  Though, Osby’s effort on the glass was not enough to keep the Sooners from being out-hustled to rebounds, as they again were bested on the boards by a margin of five.

Steven Pledger led all with 17 points and Andrew Fitzgerald chipped in 13, to increase the number of Sooners with double figures to four.

Passing lanes seemed jammed for both teams today, as the two combined for a total of 32 turnovers on the evening.

Next up the Sooners will travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M Saturday, in what could be as critical a game to their season as they have played yet.  Winning this would put them on a three-game streak heading home to face Baylor, and in reality give them a higher chance at riding the momentum to an upset of the Bears, who are coming off a road loss to Kansas.

 

Want more Sooner hoops?  Follow me on Twitter @ChandlerVessels

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