In yet another non-conference test for No. 5 ranked Oklahoma, the Sooners escaped with a tough win in the final seconds. With just over 16,000 in attendance in Hartford, Connecticut team threatened to end Oklahoma's winning streak.
The Sooners never trailed in the game and were in control throughout, except for the last five minutes. During that span, the Huskies went on an 11-1 run to tie the game at 67.
Oklahoma junior Ebi Ere, who finished with 24 points and nine rebounds, made what would become the game's winning shot with 16 seconds remaining.
"I was trying to get to the basket or draw a foul or penetrate and dish if they helped," said Ere. "They didn't come after me, and the shot was there."
The win marked Oklahoma's 11th straight and improved their record to 12-1.
"We're ranked No. 5 in the nation and if we had lost it would be that way for one day," Oklahoma junior guard Hollis Price said. "We didn't want that. All year we want No. 5 or higher."
Price and junior guard Jason Detrick added 17 and 12 points respectively.
The major story of the game was the manner in which the Sooners dominated on the boards, especially on the offensive end. The box score reflects a 45 to 32 advantage for Oklahoma, but the timeliness of the rebounds repeatedly gave the Sooners second chance opportunities.
"We got tattooed on the boards," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "That's how we lost the basketball game."
Despite the control the Sooners had for much of the night, the game was still in doubt with less than three seconds remaining. Detrick was on the line with 2.7 seconds remaining and missed the front end of what could have been the game-clinching one-and-one.
After a timeout, Connecticut was able to inbound the ball to half court and heave a desperation 3-pointer that just missed off of the front of the rim.
Ere 9-20 4-4 24, White 1-4 0-0 2, Detrick 4-9 3-4 12, Price 6-14 3-3 17, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, McGhee 1-11 1-3 3, Ja.Brown 4-7 0-0 8, Selvy 1-6 1-2 3. Totals 26-71 12-16 69.
Butler 9-12 6-9 25, Selvie 6-12 0-0 12, Okafor 4-7 3-4 11, T.Brown 0-5 2-4 2, Robertson 3-7 0-0 8, Gordon 3-8 1-2 7, Ju.Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Hazelton 0-1 0-0 0, Hayes 0-0 0-0 0, Tooles 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 25-52 14-21 67.
Halftime-Oklahoma 40, Connecticut 33. 3-Point goals-Oklahoma 5-19 (Ere 2-6, Price 2-7, Detrick 1-1, White 0-1, McGhee 0-2, Selvy 0-2), Connecticut 3-7 (Robertson 2-4, Butler 1-2, Gordon 0-1). Fouled out-Ja.Brown. Rebounds-Oklahoma 45 (Ere 9), Connecticut 32 (Selvie 9). Assists-Oklahoma 8 (Price, Ja.Brown 2), Connecticut 16 (T.Brown 7). Total fouls-Oklahoma 17, Connecticut 16.
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