Less than 24 hours after Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight's new reality show 'Knight School' debuted, the legendary coach watched his team drop a 71-70 loss to No. 20 Oklahoma.
The Sooners (18-6) built a 10-point second half lead, but needed a tip-in by senior forward Kevin Bookout with 4.5 seconds left to secure the win and a single-season sweep of Knight's Red Raiders (14-13).
"I think a big part of tonight's win was having been in so many of these things," said Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, whose Sooners are now 7-0 against the Big 12 schools from Texas this season. "I didn't see anybody lose their composure, I didn't see anybody lose their poise. I think we're getting better at being in these close situations."
Once again, Oklahoma was sparked by junior guard Michael Neal, who hit four second half 3-pointers as the Sooners built a 60-50 lead with 8:00 to go, which was capped by a Taj Gray alley-oop layup from Terrell Everett.
However, it wouldn't be typical Oklahoma basketball game if the Sooners didn't build lead on the road and blow it, and they did just that again Monday night.
Texas Tech battled back and eventually took a 70-68 lead on a pair of Martin Zeno free throws with 1:08 left, but David Godbold then hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to one with 56 seconds left. The Sooners then got the ball back with 26 seconds left after Everett rebounded a missed a shot attempt by Tech's Darryl Dora.
Oklahoma called timeout and got the ball to Everett at the top of the key, penetrated into the lane, but his shot bounced around the rim and eventually rolled off the left side where Bookout was waiting underneath the goal to tip it in with 4.5 seconds left.
Tech then got the ball to Jarrius Jackson, who dribbled the length of the court, but missed a leaner from just inside the 3-point line as time expired.
"We felt like Terrell could get penetration and make either Nate (Carter) or Kevin's man help up," said Sampson on the final play of the game that led to the game-winning basket. "He had to get the ball to the rim though because I didn't want him to take a jumpshot, because if he takes a jumpshot it's all or nothing. But if he could to the rim we at least have a chance to get an offensive rebound."
"Of all the guys on our team that needed something good to happen for them, I would say it would be Kevin."
For the fourth straight game, Neal the Sooners in scoring. Neal finished with 18 points. Gray finished with 13, while Bookout with added 12 and Everett 10. Gray also recorded a game-high 13 rebounds, and Everett dished eight assists.
Overall, Oklahoma shot 42.6 percent from the field to Tech's 45.1. However, the Sooners outrebounded the Red Raiders 45-24.
"I don't know if it could work out any better, but we had 17 offensive rebounds tonight. We're the No. 1 rebounding team in the nation and tonight it helped us," Sampson said.
With the win, the Sooners remain in sole possession of third place in Big 12 play at 9-4 while Tech fell to 6-7 in conference action.
"Sometimes you've got to win games on the road with your heart and your guts, and that's what this program's been about for a long time," Sampson said. "Hat's off to Texas Tech. Zeno and Jackson just kept making plays. But we made the last one and that's what counts.
"It's good to win one like this, but now we move on to Saturday against K-State."
The Sooners and Wildcats will tip-off at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OU-Texas Tech Box Score
Knight Schooled: Sooners sweep Tech
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