Sooners Defend Home Again, Top Buffs

NORMAN, Okla. — If the Colorado Buffaloes are to snap OU's home winning streak against them at Lloyd Noble Center, one that dates back to 1981, they'll now have to do it as members of the Pac-10 Conference, as the Sooners defeated them 67-60 Saturday afternoon in front of 6,726 in attendance to run the streak to 24 straight.

"I am very pleased with the win," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "I thought our defense was very good for the most part today. [Colorado's] average is 83 [points] overall, so holding them to 60 was really good. They were a 42-percent [3-point shooting] team in conference play, 37 percent overall, and we held them to 1-for-10. I thought our attention to detail was very good. I thought we executed offensively. We shot a high percentage. We're getting better."

On their way to the victory, the Sooners withstood a furious run by the Buffaloes that saw the visitors completely erase an 11-point second half deficit to notch things up at 52 with 3:35 left.

But from that point on, the story was solid free throw shooting in the closing minutes to seal the victory.

Point guard Carl Blair, after starting only 2-of-6 from the charity stripe, was a huge part of that, as he closed the game by hitting seven consecutive free throws.

"I thought it was big, again, of Carl Blair down the stretch," Capel said. "He missed some free throws, so I thought it was in his head a little bit. But he stepped up and made them down the stretch."

And although OU shot only 64 percent from the line in the game and was even as poor as 33 percent on one point in the second half, that consistency in the late stages was indeed paramount in rapping up this victory.

"Well, we struggled early on the free throw line, which we have normally been really good in the past few games we played down the stretch," said guard Cade Davis. "We got a few stops when we needed to and built our lead off getting free throws down the stretch."

The Sooners never trailed in the second half, extending their 32-26 halftime advantage to 37-26 right out of the gates.

They led by double digits on three different occasions after intermission before allowing the Buffs to get back into it.

CU scored the first bucket of the game when guard Cory Higgins knocked down a jumper just 27 seconds into the game.

That was one of seven leads the Buffs had in the first half, as they got up by as much as four at 19-15, but they were never on top again after OU reclaimed the lead at 23-22 at the 5:19 mark by a jumper from forward Andrew Fitzgerald.

For the second straight outing, Davis led all five Sooner starters in double figures with 15 points.

Fitzgerald, Blair and guard Cameron Clark each had 13, and guard Steven Pledger added 11.

"I think we are getting better," Capel said. "My thing with our guys all season long is to control what we can control, play to our strengths. Don't worry about the weaknesses and just do what we can do because that is the only thing we can control. I think our guys are getting a little bit better at that."

Three Buffaloes were in doubles, with guards Alec Burks and Cory Higgins each scoring 15 and guard Andre Roberson adding 10.

The Sooners outshot the Buffaloes 52.2 percent to 40.4 percent.

With the victory, OU sweeps its two-game home stand and now moves back over .500 at 10-9 and improves to 2-3 in Big 12 play, while Colorado drops to 14-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

"It's a huge confidence builder," Davis said. "Protecting home, that's what we have talked about all year since we have struggled on the road. But hopefully these two wins kind of generate some momentum for us going into Iowa State and hopefully we will go get a win in their place."

OU has a week off before traveling to Ames, Iowa for a 8 p.m. Saturday showdown with the Cyclones.

Other postgame coverage:

Head Coach Jeff Capel's Press Conference

Player Interviews

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