Sooners down ORU 81-73 with late rally

Kevin Bookout (pictured right) scored a season-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in OU's 81-73 win.

NORMAN, Okla. — Kevin Bookout scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Terrell Everett scored all of his 17 points in the second half to lead Oklahoma to a comeback win over Oral Roberts, 81-73, in front of 8,123 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Nate Carter scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, as OU rebounded from a seven-point deficit to raise their record to 7-2. Oral Roberts falls to 5-6.

The Sooners led 37-31 at the half behind Bookout's 14 points, but ORU hit seven of their first eight shots in the second half to jump in front. The Golden Eagles led by seven points with 13:18 remaining before Everett finally got hot, hitting three 3-point shots down the stretch.

Taj Gray also scored in double figures with 12 and just missed a double-double, as he grabbed nine rebounds and added three steals.

ORU lost despite shooting 60 percent from the field in the second half. For the game, the Eagles were 28-51 for 54.9 percent. OU hit 28-65 for 43.1 percent. The Sooners won the game at the foul line, where they hit 20-26, while ORU was just 10-17.

Next up for the Sooners is a Saturday afternoon intersectional contest against Alabama. Game time is 3:30 p.m at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Kelvin Sampson's postgame quotes

"I couldn't have scripted this any better. We haven't had any close games this year. Think about it. We've only played 8 games before tonight. I was talking to Tom Izzo the other day and he's played 12 or 13. After Villanova, there was a 17-day stretch when we only played two games."

"Its been a weird year for rhythm. We're breaking in so many brand new guys. And a kid that's really opened our eyes, Austin Johnson, we didn't even dress him tonight. That's a kid that can help us. Michael Neal, we've got to get him healthy. We came real close to not even having him play tonight. They kept shooting him with ice, that freezing stuff, because his achilles just keeps flaring up."

"We've gotta get healthy, but these next three games I think is really gonna help us. Played tonight, then we play Saturday, then we go to Dallas and play SMU on Wednesday, then we go to Lincoln and play Nebraska. That stretch is what we need."

"These teams that play in these exempt tournaments have a huge advantage early in the year in getting their team going. When you're playing only two or three games every 15 days, it's hard to get your rhythm."

"The thing that's encouraged me about this whole thing is you know, we're up 10 on Villanova. We're up nine on West Virginia. I mean, we've shown flashes but we've just never put anything together. The last five minutes tonight, I wasn't just encouraged because we won the game, but because of the way we defended them the last five minutes. We had some guys playing harder than they've played all year."

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