Sooner Shocker: OU Gets Improbable Win

Move over David Godbold. Make room for Tony Crocker. One game after Godbold saved Oklahoma's NCAA Tourney hopes with a desperation 3-pointer at Texas Tech, Crocker did him one better with a four-point play in overtime Tuesday against Baylor. But with Baylor star Curtis Jerrells at the line with a second remaining, was Crocker's play enough....?

Jeff Capel's never been part of anything quite like it.

Tony Crocker's never hit a shot quite as big.

The Lloyd Noble Center maybe has never seen a more exciting finish.

Two teams fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives Tuesday night nearly fought each other.

But when the dust settled in overtime between Baylor and Oklahoma, the Bears' Curtis Jerrells had the game in his hands, shooting two free throws with one second left and his team down a point.

Amazingly, Jerrells missed both and Kevin Rogers' putback also missed the mark, giving Oklahoma a 92-91 win.

"We were very fortunate, very lucky, whatever you want to call it," Capel said. "But you have to put yourself in position to allow yourself to be lucky and we did that."

Jerrells went coast-to-coast to hit a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Bears then the first seven points of the extra frame.

That's when "Sooner Magic" started creeping into the contest.

Oklahoma slowly began chipping away at the Baylor lead, but still trailed 89-85 when Jerrells made two free throws with 25.5 ticks left in overtime.

Crocker knocked down a 3-pointer six seconds later to cut the deficit to one point, but Baylor's Aaron Bruce pushed it back to three points with two free throws with 17.5 seconds left.

The "magic" then kicked into overdrive.

The Sooners ran 10 seconds off the clock before Crocker pulled up for a 3-pointer, only to find Bruce in his face.

The sophomore guard double-pumped, was fouled, but somehow guided the shot into the bucket, sending the 8,197 that were on hand into a frenzy.

Crocker's free throw put the Sooners up 92-91.

"I was really just trying to get a shot up," he said. "He got in the way and I had to hold it for a little bit and then shoot. It happened to go down.

"Praise God. He was with us today."

When asked if he'd ever had a four-point play in his career, he said he thought maybe he had.

But one this big?

"Nothing that important," he said. "Nothing that big."

But Baylor's chances weren't shot.

Jerrells worked through the Sooner defense and was fouled by David Godbold with one second left.

"Both of them (felt good)," said Jerrells after the game, when asked if he thought he'd made the free throws.

The improbable win saved Oklahoma's NCAA Tournament chances. The teams entered the game tied for fifth place in the Big XII, but the victory gave the Sooners (18-8, 6-5) a season sweep of the Bears.

Oklahoma was shooting well before Crocker's late barrage. The team was 10-of-18 from beyond the arc.

Crocker hit three of them in the first half, finished 5-of-7, and scored 20 points.

His first-half trio came in the first 8:30 and were part of a 15-2 run to give the Sooners a 15-9 lead after falling behind early, 7-0.

Oklahoma increased its lead to 10 by halftime, but the Bears quickly cut into it in the second half and with Jerrells' 3-pointer at 17:30, the Bears were within 43-41.

"I was disappointed with how we started the second half," Capel said. "I told them at halftime that Baylor was going to make a run."

Oklahoma pushed its lead to eight points with 5:00 to play when tempers started to flare.

OU's Blake Griffin and Baylor's Mark Shepherd were battling for a loose ball when, according to Griffin, Shepherd threw an elbow.

Both benches began to clear and, when order was restored and officials reviewed the melee, Shepherd was ejected for a flagrant foul and Griffin was assessed a technical.

But that's not all. Oklahoma strength and conditioning coach Darby Rich was ejected for leaving the bench, as was Baylor's Richard Hurd.

Oklahoma kept its composure at the time and even increased its lead to 70-63 with 2:47 to play, but the Bears mounted a furious comeback.

Baylor outscored Oklahoma 9-3 over the final 2:37 as the Sooners missed four free throws and had a shot clock violation in the process.

Crocker put the Sooners up 75-73 with a pair of free throws with 9.9 seconds left, but Jerrells saved the game - at least in regulation - with his drive and bucket.

Jerrells, who scored 29 points, couldn't hit the free throws that mattered the most.

"Wow. I don't know if I've ever been a part of something like that. As good as it feels on this end," Capel said, "I feel horrible for the kids at Baylor because they played their hearts out."

The ending and ejections overshadowed a career-night by Griffin.

The freshman scored 29 points, the most for him in a Sooner uniform, and grabbhed 15 rebounds.

A late strategy by Baylor was to send Griffin to the foul line, a place he's struggled often, but he answered by making 13 of his 17 attempts.

"It's good to know that the extra time you put in pays off," Griffin said.

Three free throws - the ones made and missed - were huge in this game, but it's Crocker's play that will go down in Sooner history.

"This feels good to win like this, but it's scary," Crocker said. "I'd rather not win like this, but a win is a win no matter how you get it."

He echoed the sentiments of his coach.

"We found a way to win and that's what it comes down to," Capel said. "We found a way to win."


- Austin Johnson was 3-of-7 from the 3-point line and scored 19 points.

- For Baylor, Rogers scored 18 points and had 16 rebounds. Tweety Carter added 17 points and Henry Dugat 13.

- Baylor was 10-of-19 from the 3-point line and the Bears out-rebounded OU, 36-35.

- The Sooners were 28-of-37 from the foul line while Baylor was 17-of-23.

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