White-hot Sooners rout Texas, 82-72

Senior guard Terrell Everett scored a game-high 25 points as Oklahoma shot 54.4 percent from the floor in their 82-72 win over No. 4 Texas Saturday in Norman. With the win, the Sooners improve to 13-4 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play, which is just one game behind the Longhorns (17-3, 5-1). (AP Photo/Ty Russell)

Norman, Okla. — Oklahoma's 12,908 fans fans may have been wearing white, but that didn't keep their team from a red-hot shooting performance in an 82-72 win over 4th-ranked Texas Saturday in Norman.

In all, the Sooners shot 54.4 percent from the field, including a season-high 31 made field goals, as they ended the Longhorns' nine-game winning streak and pushed their own to four games while improving to 13-4 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play.

"We're finally turning a corner in our game," said Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, who improved to 18-8 against the Longhorns. "We haven't changed anything, we haven't added any new plays. We've finally started to put it all together. Terrell (Everett) has started playing much better and Michael Neal and Austin Johnson are healthy."

Everett, a senior, played all 40 minutes and led the way with a game-high 25 points. He also recorded a game-high eight assists and seven rebounds.

"I thought Terrell Everett was really good," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "I thought he did a lot of good things.  When he needed something, he went and got it.  He shot the ball well, played well.  He does a lot for them."

Senior forward Taj Gray finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Kevin Bookout, who played 37 minutes despite an injured left wrist, finished with eight points and four rebounds.

"Our seniors are definitely leading us," said Sampson. "Terrell has struggled this year getting into the natural flow of his game, but he figured it out the last three minutes of the Texas A&M game and has been on fire since. Kevin is playing with one hand and Taj is trying to pick up the slack. Our seniors do a great job every game leading us and encouraging our team."
 
One non-senior who stepped up big off the bench was junior Michael Neal, who hit four of his eight 3-point attempts to finish with 14 points.

Neal came off the bench to score eight points in a 10-4 run that helped OU erase an early 6-0 deficit and take a 17-15 lead.

The Sooners led 35-31 at halftime and extended the lead to 39-31 early in the second half with buckets by Gray and Everett, but the Longhorns would come back and regain the lead at 48-47 with 10:51.

However, Neal sparked OU off the bench again hitting a pair of 3-pointers that ignited a 12-0 run that saw the Sooners push the lead to 60-50 with 7:35 to go.

Texas would cut the lead to 67-60 with 4:45 remaining, but the Sooners then went on a 6-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by David Godbold off the backboard that pushed the lead to 73-60 and put the Longhorns away for good with just over two minutes to go.

"We needed this win," said Gray. "It's a big win for us, it really boosts our confidence. We are on a roll now. We got Texas A&M here Wednesday and we'll try to keep it going from here on out. We have guys playing well. We can't stop, we have to keep going like this every day."

In addition to their hot shooting, the Sooners outrebounded Texas, who came into the game leading the league in rebounding, 35-30.

With the win, the Sooners pushed their win streak over Texas to three games. OU also leads the overall series 45-21.

The Sooners will return to the court Wednesday for a 7 p.m. matchup against Texas A&M.

OU-Texas Box Score


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