The back-ups were able to finish things off in Austin, Texas on Monday night, and that’s always a good feeling.
Five different players scored in double figures as No. 16 Oklahoma wrote its name under a signature victory with a dominating 70-49 victory against No. 10 Texas for the program’s first true road victory against a top-10 opponent since a 1993 victory against Kansas.
"We caught them (Monday) when they missed some shots," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "If we lined up an hour from now, I'm sure it would be a battle."
Some of that was Oklahoma staunch defense, but a lot of it was the Sooners taking advantage of the Longhorns’ struggles.
Texas (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) put together its lowest scoring half of the season (14 points) and made just three shots in its first 28 possessions.
Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0), which last beat a top-10 team on the road before its current freshmen were born, forced nine turnovers in the first 14 minutes and held Texas, which has now lost back-to-back home games against the Sooners, shot just 6-for-30 from the field in the first half.
One of the best efficiency defenses in the nation showed how good it could be on a national stage.
"This club is different defensively than in the last couple of years," Kruger said."We do a good job of staying in front of the ball. We are moving in the right direction."
Even against an oversized front line, Oklahoma dominated inside. On 42 missed shots, Texas had just 11 offensive rebounds. Oklahoma outrebounded Texas, 42-37, and outscored the Longhorns in the paint, 34-16.
Texas won the opening tip, but then didn’t win much else above or around the rim.
"Coach, before the game, kept telling us they were big," Oklahoma forward TaShawn Thomas said. "We had to be ready to play. Ryan and I kept saying that we had to get into their legs. We had to stop them from getting the ball in the paint."
Oklahoma, which will host Kansas State on Saturday, allowed just two fast break points and held Texas’ front line to 4-for-19 from the field and just eight points.
Buddy Hield scored 13 points to lead Oklahoma, which is one of the top defensive efficiency teams in the country. Thomas and Isaiah Cousins each had 12 points. Jordan Woodard and Dinjiyl Walker both scored 10 points.
Ryan Spangler had nine points.
Two years when Cousins and Hield were freshmen, former Oklahoma forward Amath M’Baye flashed the upside-down “Hook ‘Em Horns” hand sign as the Sooners’ led by 22 points in the second half.
The Longhorns rallied to erase that lead and win in overtime.
Hield and Cousins are veterans now and that Texas run never came.
Instead, it was a statement win for the Sooners.
"We have seen what happens if the don't come out and play," Cousins said.