NORMAN, Okla. – When entering a bedlam contest, you should expect nothing less than a knock-down, drag-out fight. Tonight's match-up between No. 7 Oklahoma (16-3, 5-2) and No. 9 Oklahoma State (17-4, 4-4) was no different. The packed Lloyd Noble Center was the hot place to be, despite the frigid temperatures outside.
Throughout the first half, it looked as though the Sooners would roll to an easy victory over their in-state rivals. Sporting a noticeably tougher defense than what was displayed in a loss against Texas Tech on Saturday, Oklahoma held the Cowboys to a season-low 17 first-half points.
Although the Sooners' offense was not explosive, it was consistent enough to support the stout effort on the defensive end of the floor. Limiting OSU to 33% shooting in the first half, Oklahoma entered the intermission with a solid 29-17 lead.
This being bedlam, you should be considered naïve if you thought this contest was going to be a blow-out. Much like OU did in the first half, OSU dominated the second.
Despite being down by 16 points in the first half, the Cowboys remained focused. With the assistance of a 17-8 run, the Cowboys battled back to steal a 47-46 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Oklahoma remained tough down the stretch and the Cowboys would not possess the lead again. The key series of plays came with less than a minute showing on the clock. With a 55-53 lead, Oklahoma junior Ebi Ere missed the front-end of a one-and-one to possibly give Oklahoma State the ball and down just two.
Senior Aaron McGhee came to the rescue of the Sooners. Seeing the loose ball after the Ere miss, McGhee battled three Cowboys for the possession and was eventually fouled. McGhee hit his two clutch free-throws to put Oklahoma up 57-53. Price would eventually add the final point from the line to put Oklahoma up for good, 58-53.
"There's no such thing as an easy win in Bedlam," Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson explained. "Oklahoma State is a tremendous team. We are proud of this win."
Oklahoma junior Hollis Price was once again the leader for the Sooners. Price finished with 17 points and three assists and eventually took over the point guard position for Quannas White, who fouled out with seven points.
McGhee ended the night with 10 points and 11 rebounds. No play was more important, however, than the offensive rebound on the Ere miss in the closing moments.
Oklahoma State's Cheyne Gadson led the Cowboys with a career-high 14 points. OSU's leading scorer Maurice Baker was held to a mere six points on 2-11 shooting.
The victory against Oklahoma State marked Kelvin Sampson's 100th win at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OKLAHOMA ST. (17-4)
Jonzen 3-9 2-2 8, McFarlin 2-3 4-6 8, Baker 2-11 2-2 6, V.Williams 4-13 4-5 12, Sanders 2-2 0-0 4, Crawford 0-0 0-0 0, Broxsie 0-0 1-3 1, Gadson 6-7 0-5 14, A.Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-46 13-23 53.
McGhee 2-11 6-6 10, Brown 2-3 0-1 4, Ere 5-10 0-0 12, White 3-3 0-0 7, Price 6-13 4-6 17, Detrick 1-2 0-0 2, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Selvy 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 22-47 10-14 58.
Halftime-Oklahoma 29, Oklahoma St. 17. 3-Point goals-Oklahoma St. 2-8 (Gadson 2-2, Baker 0-3, V.Williams 0-3), Oklahoma 4-12 (Ere 2-5, White 1-1, Price 1-4, McGhee 0-2). Fouled out-White. Rebounds-Oklahoma St. 35 (Gadson 7), Oklahoma 20 (McGhee 11). Assists-Oklahoma St. 7 (V.Williams 3), Oklahoma 8 (White, Price 3). Total fouls-Oklahoma St. 19, Oklahoma 20. A-12,145.
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