Sooners soar past Cowboys

Oklahoma State knew they were in for a tough fight. What they didn't realize, though, was that Oklahoma's Hollis Price had been psyching himself up for Wednesday's game since Jan. 14.



NORMAN --  Hollis Price wasn't happy with the way he played in the prequel to Wednesday's matchup with Oklahoma State.

In fact, Price's six-point performance against OSU in Stillwater on Jan. 13 disturbed the Oklahoma guard.

It disturbed OU head coach Kelvin Sampson even more.

"After that game in Stillwater, the next day Coach Sampson brought me into his office and gave me a tape of my shots, my touches," Price said. "He just wanted me to slow down a little bit."

Price said watching the tape four weeks ago was just the motivation he needed in order to attack the No. 16 Cowboys in round two of Bedlam.

"I slowed down and was a little patient tonight," Price said. "We set great screens, and our guys did a good job of getting me the ball."

The key to the Oklahoma win was maintaining the pace of the game, Sampson said.

"I thought our patience was much better tonight," Sampson said. "I told Hollis to quit trying to score so fast. I gave him a Wooden quote. He said, ‘Be quick, but don't hurry.'"

The 64-48 win was done so convincingly, as the Sooners put the ball through the net each time the Cowboys felt they were able to breathe again.

"We knew those guys were going to make a run," Price said. "We were up 23 points and it's hard to come back against a team as good as we are. But those guys never gave up -- Victor Williams did a great job playing with a lot of emotion and pushing the ball. His team fed off him, but we found a way to keep our lead."

And, the price was indeed right for the Sooners' leader of the pack. Price finished the game with a team-high 22 points.

The OU backcourt stung the Cowboy defense all night. The combination of Price, Quannas White, De'Angelo Alexander and Ebi Ere pounded the baskets for 45 of the Sooners' 64 points.

"OU is a phenomenal team," said OSU guard Victor Williams. "Any time you let them shoot that well, you are going to have a lot of ground to make up for. There is a reason they win -- they are a good team in a competitive conference."

The Sooners' outside shooting wasn't the only thing they had going their way -- big man Kevin Bookout recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

"Bookout is definitely the go-to guy for them down low," Williams said. "They take advantage of his size, and they really feed him the ball. They were really smart that way, they saw that he was really out-manning us and they went with it."

Cowboy forward Ivan McFarlin drew the assignment of tailing Bookout all night but was unable to curtail his Sooner presence at the post.

"You have to give it up to Bookout," McFarlin said. "He is a great player, and he has developed -- he has a nice shot. He never brings the ball down and has a touch off the glass. It is a very hard shot to block."

The Cowboys were never able to come from the deep deficit, and the only glimmer of hope for OSU came after coach Eddie Sutton drew a technical foul from referees. Following the ‘T,' the Cowboys surged ahead, feeding off energy from their coach.

Then, they fell behind by 23 points, allowing the fate of the Cowboys to be sealed with three missed shots with 10 minutes remaining and a 3-pointer by OU's Ere.

"That was just kind of a knife in the heart for us," Williams said. "After that 3-point shot, it just took all the ‘go' out of us."

OU shot 40.8 percent from the field on 20-of-49 shooting, compared to the Cowboys' 28.6 percent shooting.

"You are not going to beat even the Sisters of the Poor if you shoot 28 percent," Sutton said.


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