After every conference home game, Sooners Illustrated is going to take a look at the five things that were revealed in Oklahoma's basketball game. Up now is OU finishing the season sweep of Texas in a 77-65 victory.
No. 1: Hield continues to drive the bus
OU played a pretty clean game throughout against the Longhorns, but there was something magical about the early part of the second half when sophomore guard Buddy Hield exploded. The ball movement was crisp and Hield drained back-to-back three-pointers as OU continued to stretch the lead. This Sooners team is just a little different when Hield is firing on all cylinders, and he was against Texas. OU is going to win a lot of games where Hield gets 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals. That shows he's being involved in all phases of the game.
No. 2: Cousins making the leap
Sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins is not a point guard. We learned that last year. But instead of getting down in the dumps, he has taken his game to a whole new level. For the second time in a month he set a career high, this time going for 24 points. But it was about as efficient as it comes. Twenty-four points on 11 shots, making 8 of 9 free throws and contributing with three steals. His outside jumper isn't always on, but when it is, obviously his confidence is increased. It opens up the rest of the floor and also allows him to drive to the basket to score, get fouled or create for a teammate.
No. 3: Hornbeak finding that consistency
Nobody is asking for Je'lon Hornbeak to replace Jordan Woodard in the starting lineup, but Hornbeak is playing as well as he has all season. He looks explosive driving to the hole, he's one of the best finishers at the basket for OU and is easily one of the best playmakers. In just 18 minutes, Hornbeak registered nine points and five assists. He did have three turnovers, but that's illustrating a point of Hornbeak not being hesitant anymore.
No. 4: Defense carries the day
Fantastic showing for OU on defense. The Sooners couldn't control the paint, but they locked down on the perimeter. OU limited Texas to 3-of-19 on its three-point field goals and caused 16 turnovers. OU still has a lot of work to do defensively, but the steady improvement has been a welcomed sign because it's going to be so vital if OU is going to make a deep run in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.
No. 5: Seniors go out on high note
Foul trouble limited what Cameron Clark could do, but it was a nice game for Clark and fellow senior forward Tyler Neal on OU's senior day. Clark finished with six points and had the tough task of trying to control the paint against the much bigger Longhorns. Neal came off the bench and provided a nice spark in the first half. He finished with six points, including a four-point play and also grabbed seven rebounds.