Since advancing to the Elite Eight in the 2009 NCAA tournament, the Oklahoma Sooners have struggled mightily on the road in conference play. In fact, coming into Saturday's matchup against West Virginia, the Sooners were a horrific 2-23 away from Norman in conference road games.
So to say Saturday's 67-57 comeback win over the Mountaineers in Morgantown, W.V, was a big win would probably be a bit of an understatement.
The Sooners found themselves down by 12, 43-31 with 17:58 remaining after a layup from West Virginia's Juwan Staten. By the 9:49 mark, the Sooners had tied the score, and when Buddy Hield scored with 4:33 remaining in the contest, the Sooners had a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"I thought our guys really responded very well and did just a terrific job of rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor," OU head coach Lon Kruger said. "Our guys did a pretty good job of getting some stops there at pretty critical stages."
The two teams battled back and forth in the first half, but the Mountaineers ended the half on an 8-2 burst to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room.
The Mountaineers continued their run, starting the second half on another 8-2 run to extend the lead to 12 before the Sooners began their comeback.
The Sooners were up five when Staten hit two free throws to cut the lead the three with 2:31 remaining. On the very next possession, OU's Steven Pledger hit a three-pointer to put the Sooners back up by six. Two possessions later, Romero Osby got free for a slam dunk to punctuate the Sooners' win.
"Any win in the league is tough to get especially those on the road," Kruger said. "It is early and we would rather be 1-0 than 0-1 and that is about all that it means at this point."
Osby led the Sooners with 21 points, while Pledger scored 12. Terry Henderson led the Mountaineers with 21 points, hitting 6-of-11 three-pointers for the game.
The Sooners won't play again until next Saturday, when Oklahoma State comes to Norman for the first round of Bedlam basketball. Tip time is set for 2 p.m.