9:00 PM ET, January 28, 2006
Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- After beating their fierce rival, Taj Gray and two other Oklahoma players leaped onto a courtside table, played to the adoring crowd and flashed an upside-down "Hook 'Em Horns" sign.Terrell Everett scored 25 points, Gray added 22 and the Sooners (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP) exploited LaMarcus Aldridge's second-half foul trouble to beat Texas (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 4 AP) 82-72 Saturday night and snap the Longhorns' nine-game winning streak."This is the game that you want to play in. This is the game that you want to win," Gray said. "You couldn't ask for much more than to be out there on the floor."Everett and Michael Neal combined for 11 points to put the Sooners (13-4, 4-2 Big 12) in control after they had allowed the Longhorns to erase a seven-point deficit.Aldridge capped a 13-5 run by banking in a layup from the right block to give Texas (17-3, 5-1) a 48-47 lead.Neal put Oklahoma back in the lead with a 3-pointer from the right side, then answered a P.J. Tucker basket with another 3 from the same spot. Everett banked in a 3 from the right wing, then shrugged his shoulders as he headed to the Sooners' huddle during a Texas timeout."Really, you just think, `Oh, that was a lucky shot," Everett said. "But then the game isn't over."Aldridge, who scored 22 points, left the game for the first time at the 9-minute mark after picking up his fourth foul. Kevin Bookout exploited Aldridge's absence for a layup, and Everett put back Gray's fast-break miss for a 60-50 lead."When he got those early fouls in the second half, we said `Go right after him. When you catch it, just go to the basket and try to get another foul on him," Gray said.After a 3-pointer by Daniel Gibson, Gray stretched the lead to 12 with a two-handed, alleyoop jam and a three-point play off a turnaround jumper in the lane.Kenton Paulino drew Texas within 65-58 with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, but the Longhorns were unable to capitalize on other opportunities down the stretch. Aldridge and Gibson each missed free throws in the bonus situation and Paulino stole an entry pass only to throw it to Oklahoma's David Godbold at the other end.Godbold effectively put the game away when he duplicated Everett's banked 3-pointer from about the same spot to extend Oklahoma's lead to 73-60."Two or three of those shots were bank shots and one of them was like right at the end of the shot clock like a prayer, and he made it," Tucker said. "You've got to fight through that."Everett was one point shy of matching his career high and Gray's output was his most in Big 12 play this season. Neal contributed 14 points and Godbold scored 11."There's a reason why we won the league last year -- these two guys here and the way they played," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said, sitting next to Gray and Everett. "This is the first time all year that these guys played the same way."Aldridge didn't score again after re-entering with 6:19 left, but still notched his 10th double-double by grabbing 12 rebounds. Gibson had 23 points, but was 4-for-14 from 3-point range, and Tucker scored 14. Gibson had hit 17 of his last 25 from 3-point range entering the game.During its win streak, Texas had held each of its nine opponents below 40 percent shooting. Oklahoma was 31-for-57 (54.4 percent) while preventing the Longhorns from achieving their best start in 59 years and their longest winning streak in 12 years."We're better than we played tonight," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I've said all along, `We've got to improve. We need to continue to get better.' I think this group has responded all year. I'll be disappointed if we don't try to improve."Texas had won its first five Big 12 games by an average of 26.4 points, with speculation about an undefeated conference run already beginning."That's stupidity," Barnes said. " ... We're six games in. You've got to think teams are going to get better. That's just people wanting to write something. Our guys never thought that."With its Red River rival on hand, Oklahoma attracted its largest crowd of the season and gave out white T-shirts to each. A rowdy student section greeted the Longhorns with derisive chants, "Miss America" Jennifer Berry -- an Oklahoma elementary education student -- greeted the crowd and Gov. Brad Henry, football coach Bob Stoops and the entire women's basketball team were in attendance.They witnessed Oklahoma's first win against a top 5 opponent since an 80-77 overtime victory Dec. 6, 2003, at Michigan State.Aldridge and Tucker combined to score 24 of Texas' first 28 points, with the Longhorns finding Aldridge for baskets in the lane and Tucker maneuvering his way inside."He had it going," Barnes said of Aldridge. "They were having a tough time with him."The Sooners then outscored 10-3 in a stretch spanning across halftime to build a 39-31 lead on Gray's right-handed hook shot.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-57 (.474)||31-57 (.544)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-18 (.278)||8-20 (.400)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-19 (.684)||12-19 (.632)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|