Sooners make Longhorn's senior night a nightmare

Texas' Kenny Taylor attempts to block a shot by Oklahoma's Lawrence McKenzie during the second half of the Sooners' 74-58 win over the Longhorns on senior night Monday in Austin. McKenzie came off the bench to lead the Sooners with 16 points. With the win, OU improved to 22-6 overall and moved to within a half game of first place Kansas at 11-4 in Big 12 play. (AP Photo/Deborah Cannon)

Texas ruined Oklahoma's senior night two years ago in Norman, but Monday night in Austin the Sooners finally returned the favor.

Behind Lawrence McKenzie's team-high 16 points off the bench and David Godbold's 14 points, the 20th-ranked Sooners dominated the Longhorns 74-58 in front of 13,121 disappointed fans at the Frank Erwin Center.

"We've had some great wins this year," said OU head coach Kelvin Sampson. "We've beat Connecticut, Kansas and O-State, but the thing about those games is those were games we should've won.

"Good teams should win at home, but for us to come in here and beat them on their home court on senior night with all the emotion and on national TV, this was a significant win for this young group of kids."

It was another great night for walk-on turned starter David Godbold. The 6-foot-5 true freshman from Oklahoma City jump-started the Sooners in the first half scoring eight points in a 12-0 run that helped erase a four-point deficit and give OU a 23-15 lead at the 7:50 mark.

The Sooners, who led 39-29 at halftime, came out on fire to start the second half with an 8-0 run to push the lead to 47-29. From that point on, the Longhorns tried to catch up but couldn't get any closer than 64-55 on a Daniel Gibson layup with 2:09 left in the game.

Oklahoma put the game away down the stretch by hitting their last 12 free throw attempts over the final 2:23.

"That just shows you how much better this team has gotten in the last month," said Sampson on his Sooners learning to fight off a comeback after blowing double-digit leads at Missouri, Duke and Kansas State earlier in the year.

"I was just really impressed with the way we kept our composure and poise. You knew Texas was going to come back, but that didn't mean we were going to back up. Every time they pushed us, we pushed back. We played very physical tonight."

Overall, the Sooners out-rebounded the Longhorns 39-29 and held them to 39.2 percent shooting from the field and just 27.8 percent (5-18) from three-point range.

Gibson led Texas with 16 points, but was just 4-for-14 from the field. Junior forward Brad Buckman, who came into the game averaging 12.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, was held to just seven points and four rebounds.

"I thought our defense was good," said Sampson. "We had a gameplan coming in that our kids really executed. I can't say enough about the defense that Johnnie (Gilbert) and Kevin (Bookout) played on those ball screens, and how we jumped out and showed and rotated on the back line.

"We held that team to 39 percent and out-rebounded them by 10. That's Sooner basketball. That's just the way we've won for 11 years."

Joining McKenize and Godbold in double figures were Terrell Everett with 12 and Taj Gray with 10. Godbold led OU with a team-high nine rebounds. Everett also chipped in eight boards and a team-high five assists.

"My hat's off to our staff and our players," Sampson said. "I couldn't be more proud of a team. Terrell Everett, Johnnie Gilbert, everyone one of them. Lawrence McKenzie off the bench. Kevin Bookout was tremendous tonight. Everybody played their role."

With the win the Sooners (22-6) keep their regular season conference title hopes alive by moving to within a half game of first-place Kansas at 11-4 in Big 12 play. The Longhorns, who were 14-1 at home prior to tonight's loss, fall to 19-9 and 8-7.

Next up for Oklahoma is the regular season finale Saturday at Texas Tech. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

OU-Texas Box Score

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