Isaiah Cousins led the Sooners with 24 points on a historical day for the program. After a 77-65 over Texas, Oklahoma had swept both the Longhorns and Oklahoma State in the regular season for the first time in the 18-year history of the Big 12. It wasn’t easy, though. The Sooners had to endure hurdles throughout the entire game, including foul trouble to Cameron Clark and Ryan Spangler. But Cousins’ emergence, along with Buddy Hield’s proverbial hot hand (17 points), and solid three point shooting led the Sooners to the win.
Clark picked up his second foul early in the first half, and in his absence, the Longhorns jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. Still, the Sooners showed resolve, continuing to fight their way back into the game, and tying it at eight. It was then that Spangler picked up his second foul and had to leave the game. However, the Sooners, undeterred, continued their success, knocking down shot after shot on their way to building a 21-12 lead. Clark would reenter the game, but the lead wouldn’t grow beyond nine, and the Sooners took a solid 32-25 advantage into halftime.
Oklahoma came into the second half ready to expand upon their lead and finally get Clark and Spangler some minutes. Unfortunately, only one of those things happened. Fortunately, it was the former. Even after Clark picked up his third foul with 17:56 to play and Spangler was charged with his third with 16:53, Oklahoma’s lead grew thanks to a trio of triples from Hield. Once the Sooner lead reached double digits, it never once again entered the single digit realm. Oklahoma completely dominated the rest of the way en route to a sweep of one of its most bitter rivals.
With Spangler out most of the game, winning the battle in the paint was uphill for Oklahoma, and it should come as no surprise that they were outscored 38-18 there. Where the Sooners did earn their money was off of turnovers. Oklahoma forced 16 Longhorn miscues and scored 23 points off of those miscues. In comparison, the Sooners gave away the ball only seven times and Texas was able to score only five points off of Sooner mistakes. Another key was Oklahoma’s shooting from behind the arc. The Sooners made 40% of their threes and held Texas to just 15.8% from long range.
Aside from Hield and Cousins, Je’lon Hornbeak had a solid game for the Sooners. He ended up just one point shy of double digits, but also dished out five assists in 18 minutes off the bench. Hornbeak, who started most of last season, has struggled this season after injuries confined him to the bench early on. Over the past few games, he has shown flashes of his potential, and with the Big 12 tournament and NCAA’s looming, it’s perfect timing.
Next up, Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6) will take on West Virginia (16-13, 8-8) in its final home game of the season. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CST on Wednesdya, Mar. 5 at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Want more Sooner hoops? Follow me on Twitter @ChandlerVessels