OU moves to 3-0 for first time in four years

NORMAN, Okla. — The last time the Sooners started out this well in Big 12 Conference play they had a certain guy named Blake Griffin.

They pushed their record to 3-0 in league play for the first time since the 2008-09 season with their 81-63 Wednesday night victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

"I mean, every game is big for us, especially because we still have a lot to prove," said OU forward Romero Osby. "We still got to continue to build on our habits and try to get better as a team. Every win is big for us, especially a Big 12 win and like you said, to be 3-0 in the conference."

Osby, as he's done all year, proved to be the horse the Sooners rode, especially early in the second half.

He hit a jumper on the latter 20 minutes' opening possession, only to come back with a layup and slam moments later.

That was part of a stretch that saw him score 11 of his 17 points in six minutes after managing only two the entire first half.

"Coach and teammates were just doing a good job of developing plays for me, getting the ball to me in good spots," Osby said of what was different in the second half. "I was just trying to get into my man and post in there real deep."

Meanwhile, they got the usual spark they've been getting from their other core players and freshman guard Buddy Hield, who poured in 16, including a 5-0 stretch by himself where he canned a three, then stole it and scored.

"Fell down, it was a good play and when I got back up, I saw him inbound and pass the ball to his teammate and I just ran and made a steal and made a big play for the team," Hield said.

The Sooners were able to withstand a solid shooting performance by their opposition for most of the night where Tech eventually canned 42.4 percent of their field goal attempts after faltering late.

That's in large part because OU was majorly efficient at the charity stripe, converting 22-of-26 foul shots.

And they dominated the boards, winning that battle 40-32.

In fact, at one point, guard Sam Grooms squeezed in between four Tech players and seized a board.

That epitomized their troubles on the night and largely over the course of this season so far.

OU basically led this one wire-to-wire, trailing only early when Tech scored the game's first points and had 3-0 and 5-3 advantages.

From there, it was all Oklahoma.

"Good win," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "Any time you can win a Big 12 game, you feel good about that."

Along with Osby and Hield, forward Andrew Fitzgerald, guard Steven Pledger and forward Cameron Clark scored 12, 11 and 10, respectively, to join them in double figures.

Forward Dejan Kravic managed 20 to finish as the game's leading scorer but one of just two Red Raiders in doubles.

Forward Jaye Crockett added 11.

Though Tech shot better throughout most of the game, the Sooners finished with the better percentage at 47.5.

OU (12-3) will get back to action with a huge contest against No. 18 Kansas State at 3 p.m. Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.

"Kansas State is very good, a high ranked team in the country and playing very well," Kruger said. "Bramlage [Coliseum] is a great atmosphere and Coach [Bruce] Weber's done a great job with the group. Tough game."

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories