Sooners Pass Road Test In Lubbock

Wednesday, February 20th 2013, 9:16 pm
By: News 9

Lubbock, Texas wasn't a kind place to the Sooners a year ago.

Oklahoma laid an egg against Texas Tech last season, easily the worst performance of the year. With that thought on the mind, as well as Saturday's gut-wrenching overtime loss to Oklahoma State, the Sooners were looking to bounce against the Red Raiders Wednesday night.

Propelled by a great team shooting performance, the Sooners took down Texas Tech 86-71, starting the closing six-game stretch of the season with a win.

The Sooners shot 53.3 percent from the field for the game, keyed by a stellar performance from their star players.

Steven Pledger hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Sooners while Romero Osby had 21 points. Amath M'Baye had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, a season-high.

Josh Gray led the Red Raiders with 26 points. Jaye Crockett chipped in 15 points off the bench.

The Sooners got off to a hot start, particularly M'Baye, who scored nine of the Sooners' first 12 points.

Texas Tech held a couple of early leads, but the Sooners took a 21-20 lead on a Pledger 3-pointer and wouldn't trail again for the rest of the game.

With 4:35 remaining in the first half, the Sooners mounted a 14-1 run to take a 42-28 lead with 1:12 to go. Cameron Clark scored six of his 10 points during the run, which was capped by another Pledger 3-pointer.

Texas Tech wouldn't just go away, closing the half on an 8-2 run to cut the halftime deficit to 44-36.

In the second half, the Red Raiders continued to chip away, getting the OU lead down to 46-43 before Pledger and Osby took over for the Sooners. The duo combined to score the next 11 OU points to push the OU lead back to 57-50.

The Sooners continued their run, pushing the lead to 68-53 with 10:01 to play before Texas Tech made a final run. The Red Raiders got the deficit as low as seven points on a Gray free throw, but the Sooners clamped down on the defensive end and responded offensively, keyed by the play of point guard Sam Grooms, who came off the bench to score 12 points, his second straight game of double-figure scoring.

Oklahoma had to bus back to Norman Wednesday night thanks to inclement weather, something that also kept the game's third official from arriving in Lubbock. The Sooners and Red Raiders played the game with just two officials, but had no shortage of whistles.

The Sooners will take on Baylor Saturday at 4 p.m. in Norman, another important game for the Sooners in their quest for an NCAA tournament appearance.