NORMAN, Okla. – Anytime you bring Oklahoma and Texas together on a playing surface of any type, there is bound to be some intense, physical play. Saturday night's game was no different. In front of a sell-out Lloyd Noble Center, No 5. Oklahoma (22-4, 11-3) defeated Texas (17-10, 8-6) 96-78. But it did not come easy.
Directly following the opening tip, Oklahoma senior Aaron McGhee wasted no time establishing himself on the low post and hitting his patented turnaround jumper. That same shot would be open all night as McGhee ended the half with 13 points.
Early in the contest, Oklahoma junior Quannas White nailed a three-pointer to give the Sooners the lead, 5-4.
Moments later, three quick fouls, two of which were committed by Oklahoma sophomore Jabahri Brown, allowed Texas to go on a small 6-0 run to take a 14-12 lead.
Oklahoma guards Hollis Price and Quannas White would each answer with a three-pointer to push the score to 21-14.
"It shows what we can do when everybody plays good on the same night," explained Price.
Shortly thereafter, a series of tough defensive possessions would spark a 14-6 run to make the score 35-20. The Longhorns would battle back to end the half on a positive note, despite a 42-34 deficit.
Minutes in to the second half, Texas would shave that Sooner lead to a mere five points. Oklahoma's Price would again answer with a three-pointer. The bucket was the catalyst for another Sooner run and gave the Sooners some distance between Texas on the scoreboard.
Unhappy about the officiating during the run, Texas coach Rick Barnes was charged with a technical foul at the 11:19 mark. As a result, Oklahoma junior Ebi Ere converted two free throw attempts for a 68-49 lead.
Ere, who had been in a shooting slump for several games, played a tremendous role in the Sooners' victory. While he produced only two points in the first half, Ere exploded for 21 second-half points to push his point total to 23. Ere also recorded five assists.
"Scorers are a little fragile sometimes," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Ebi, you've got to let him go. We ran some sets for him and got him the ball. When he's feeling it, you just keep feeding him."
Aaron McGhee finished the contest with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Quannas White also chipped in 20 points while converting all three of his three-point attempts.
Outstanding Texas freshman T.J. Ford ended the night with 22 points and eight assists.
The victory marked Oklahoma's seventh straight against Texas and extended the home winning-streak to 21 games. The Sooners have now clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament.
Tuesday is Senior Night for the Sooners as they host Iowa State at 8 p.m. CST.
Mouton 4-12 6-8 15, Erskin 2-5 1-3 5, Thomas 5-7 4-7 14, Ford 4-13 14-15 22, Ivey 0-3 0-0 0, Williams 1-3 1-1 3, Harris 5-11 0-0 14, Klotz 2-3 0-0 4, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Boddicker 0-2 1-3 1, Ogden 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 27-37 78.
McGhee 7-18 5-5 20, Szendrei 1-1 1-1 3, White 5-7 7-8 20, Detrick 3-10 4-4 11, Price 4-11 3-4 14, Ere 6-11 8-8 23, Cano 0-2 0-0 0, Johnston 1-3 0-0 3, Ainooson 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Selvy 1-3 0-0 2, Liggett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-67 28-30 96.
Halftime-Oklahoma 42, Texas 34. 3-Point goals-Texas 5-21 (Harris 4-10, Mouton 1-5, Ford 0-2, Boddicker 0-2, Ogden 0-2). Oklahoma 12-29 (White 3-3, Ere 3-6, Price 3-8, McGhee 1-3, Johnston 1-3, Detrick 1-4, Cano 0-1, Selvy 0-1). Fouled out-Ivey, Brown, Selvy. Rebounds-Texas 47 (Thomas 11), Oklahoma 38 (McGhee 10). Assists-Texas 11 (Ford 8), Oklahoma 20 (White, Price, Ere 5). Total fouls-Texas 24, Oklahoma 28.
Technical-Texas bench. A-12,724.
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