Carter, Longar lead Sooners past Texas Tech

Sooners improve to 13-8 and 4-4 in Big 12 play. Nate Carter (pictured) scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Norman — It was a bitter Saturday night for Texas Tech coach Bob Knight.

Not only did 'The General' watch his team fall to Oklahoma, but he had to watch Longar Longar — a player he stated should never be able to play again after his inadverdant elbow knocked Tech center Elmer Rizvic out for the season in the first matchup between the two schools on Jan. 6 — dominate his team in the process.

Nate Carter led the way with an OU career-high 24 points while Longar recorded his first-ever Big 12 double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Sooners knocked off Knight's Red Raiders, 75-61, to improve to 13-8 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play.

"I am just really proud of him," said Capel on his junior center, who also added four blocked shots. "He is a guy that a lot of people have a lot of things to say about, and they are not always good. Everyone is always saying, ‘Well if he can do this, or if he could do that.' He didn't really play for two years. He was really down on himself. He has played well, and I thought he had a dominating performance tonight."

"We didn't make it a personal thing," said Longar, who was suspended for two games after the elbowing incident. "We just all came out and were fired up and ready to play. We just came out ready to protect home. We owed them one from when we lost at their place. We had to protect our house. I really put all that stuff that happened behind me. It was important for us to get this win and we knew that."

The Sooners led 30-27 at halftime, but found themselves trailing 59-55 with 6:58 to go. However, from that point on they took control of the game outscoring Tech 20-2 down the stretch. Michael Neal ignited the game-clinching run with a 3-pointer at the 5:37 mark, and the Sooners then calmly sank 15 of their 18 free throws (10 combined by Carter and Longar) down the stretch to seal the win.

"I thought that their inside guys played well, and they packed it inside very well to Longar (Longar) and (Nate) Carter," said Texas Tech head coach designate Pat Knight, who attended the postgame press conference instead of his father. "They did a great job on the boards, too. We didn't have an answer."

In all, the game was tied 13 times and saw 14 different lead changes.

Joining Carter and Longar in double figures was Neal, who scored seven of his 18 points in OU's final run.

Senior guard Jarrius Jackson and junior guard Martin Zeno combined for 51 of Tech's 61 points. Jackson finished with a season-high 31.

"I am really proud of our team," Capel said. "They played their butts off. They played tough and smart, and we executed, especially down the stretch. This is big for us. We are a team that is still trying to grow and still trying to get better.

"Offensively, we were able to get the ball inside. Defensively, we got stops and rebounded. We try to practice those situations in practice, but you always wonder when you get into a game. For us, we haven't handled those situations well at OSU, at Texas A&M. To be able to do that down the stretch and to be able to pull this game out is really big for our team."

Oklahoma will return to the Lloyd Noble Center Wednesday night for round two of Bedlam. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.

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