NORMAN, Okla. — It wasn't perfect, but a win is a win in November.
Junior College transfer Jaison Williams came off the bench to score 16 points and freshmen guard Lawrence McKenzie added 13 as 14th-ranked Oklahoma knocked off Tulsa, 81-73, Tuesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.
"We know how to win a game," said OU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. "We're not always going to look pretty, especially this time of year. Both programs have won so much. When you get down to the end of a game, you just have confidence that you will get it done. It was a good win for us. Both teams played a good game."
Tulsa was hot early and jumped out to an early 20-9, but the Sooners battled back behind 11 first half points from Williams to take a 41-37 lead.
The Sooners led by as many as nine points in the second half, but the Golden Hurricane fought cut OU's lead to 69-67 on a Jarius Glenn layup with 2:17 to play. But the Sooners ended the game with a 12-6 run sparked by a steal and layup by Williams on an in bounds play following a layup by Kevin Bookout.
"That is just part of my role as a teammate," said Williams, who also grabbed three rebounds and dished three assists after coming off the bench. "I just wanted to come out and help the team in any way that I could. I also wanted to come out with a win no matter what.We accomplished what we came out to do."
"A month from now, we're both going to be a lot better," Sampson said. "(Andrew) Lavender played great the second half and McKenzie continues to get better and better."
Senior guard Jason Detrick, who played in his first official game since the 2002 Final Four, was also a huge factor coming off the bench to score 11 points in 23 minutes of play.
"It felt good because we won," Detrick said on his first game back. "I just wanted to get in there and do anything I could to help the team. It was a real big win with the in-state rivalry. They gave us everything they had."
"Detrick came in the second half and was just shot, he had nothing left," said Sampson. "You can see what he can do when he becomes healthy."
"We just didn't have a lot of defensive stops, but we'll break it down and work on it," Sampson continued. We're getting there, just not a finished product yet."
Up next for the Sooners is Arkansas Pine-Bluff next Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OU-Tulsa Box Score
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