10 key plays in OU's win over Texas

Oklahoma foward Kevin Bookout celebrates after making a shot in the final minutes of the Sooners' 64-60 win over No. 11 Texas Saturday in Norman. See inside for a breakdown of the game by Sooners Illustrated Editor Jay C. Upchurch. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

NORMAN — It had been a while since Oklahoma last tasted victory on the basketball court against Texas. In fact, you had to go back to March 9, 2002, when the Sooners handed the Longhorns a 67-51 setback in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament. That was the eighth straight win against Texas by a Kelvin Sampson-coached club.

But things had changed over the course of the last five meetings — all Longhorn victories. Really, for the first time in the history of the Red River rivalry, Texas had sustained the upper hand. It's longest winning streak in the series previously was three straight back in the early 1950s.

So who could blame the Sooners for circling Saturday's showdown on their calendar back during the preseason? And even though the visitors were minus a pair of starters, you knew it was going to be a tough, physical battle from opening tip to the final buzzer.

It always is when OU and Texas square off.

And so it was again in the 64th renewal of the series, as the Sooners rallied from a 5-point halftime deficit and overcame a chilly shooting performance to beat the Horns 64-40. Their ninth victory in a row moves the Sooners into a first-place tie with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings.

Sooners Illustrated editor Jay C. Upchurch provides a quick breakdown of some of the contest's most decisive moments. Let's call it our "Top 10 Most Influential Plays of the Day."

10. Taj Gray's first bucket in almost a game and a half came at the 10:48 mark of the first half Saturday. It capped a 17-9 run and gave the Sooners their first lead of the game, 17-16.

9. A 3-pointer by Drew Lavender broke the scoring ice for the Sooners at the 17:17 mark of the first half, igniting a key OU run that helped rally the hosts from a 7-0 deficit.

8. After what was described as "an inspirational speech" by Sampson at the intermission, the Sooners blew out of the locker room in the second half with renewed intensity and vigor. Gray blocked a shot on Texas' first possession and then scored on the other end to get OU started on the first foot in the second half.

7. Oklahoma upgrades its overall defensive effort in the second half, forcing a couple of early turnovers that helped key a rally by the hosts. The Sooners force a jump ball at the 17:30 mark that further fuels the second-half momentum swing.

6. A 3-point play by Kevin Bookout — the old fashioned way — gives the Sooners their first lead (40-39) since the 5:52 mark of the first half.

5. After a couple of "unforced" errors allowed Texas to sneak back into the led, Johnnie Gilbert brought the Lloyd Noble Center crowd to life by following a Lawrence McKenzie miss with an offensive putback. OU was back on top 44-43 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

4. A turnover by Terrell Everett proves disastrous when Gray is called or a foul and a technical foul on the same play at the other end of the court. Not only did Gray foul out on the play — with 8:35 left — the Horns' Daniel Gibson hits four straight free throws to cut the OU lead to 48-47.

3. A pair of threes. Texas had regained a 49-48 advantage with a 6-0 run when Lavender drained a long 3-pointer with 6:40 remaining. Just over a minute later, McKenzie popped a trey to give OU the lead for good (56-53).

2. After forcing a shot clock violation on the defensive end, Bookout muscles up a shot that somehow goes in with 1:56 remaining. The junior completed the 3-point play to give the Sooners a 59-55 edge.

1. It was a 59-57 game when Lavender provided the decisive blow via a 3-pointer off of an Everett penetration and kick-out. The little man's trey pushed the lead to 62-57.

Although Texas trimmed it to 62-60 in the closing seconds, McKenzie buried a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to seal it and send the 12,464 fans on hand into celebration mode.

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