Sooners Corral Longhorns

NORMAN, OKLA -- The Oklahoma Sooners snapped a six game losing streak against the Texas Longhorns with 78-63 victory in front of a raucous Lloyd Noble Center crowd of 12,243.

Oklahoma would continue their 2008-2009 home dominance by securing a surprisingly easy 78-63 victory over Texas, which came in to tonight's contest riding a six game win streak over the Sooners.

"I thought the environment was tremendous," OU head coach Jeff Capel said of the atmosphere in the LNC. "The fans were great right from the beginning. It was the best feeling that I had since I walked out of that tunnel to start the game."

The Sooners got out of the gate with a strong start spurred by the early scoring efforts of Austin Johnson.

Johnson cashed in a lay-up and a three-point basket to start the game off and put OU out in front by a score of 5-0, a lead it would not relinquish.

The intensity would pick-up midway through the first half, and that would be a good thing for the Sooners, who would lead the game by as many as 16 points.

OU went in to the first half break with a 38-27 lead as the defense was able to hold Texas to 37 percent shooting from the field.

"Texas is a dangerous team," Blake Griffin explained. "For us to get on them early and not lose that is big. I know they kind of got close there at one point but everybody did a great job of bearing down and getting stops on defense, coming down hitting shots, and executing."

In the second half the Longhorns would cut the lead to single digits in large part behind the efforts of their two leading scorers, A.J. Abrams and Damion James.

James, who was held scoreless in the first half of action, poured in 12 points in the second stanza.

"No, not hurt at all," Texas head coach Rick Barnes said when asked why James only played six minutes in the first half. "We knew we had to have a great effort here defensively and I think he gave up the first five points of the game." Despite the second half surge by the Horns the Sooners would never trail in the game in large part due to the scoring efforts of Blake Griffin (20), Austin Johnson (15), Willie Warren (15), and Tony Crocker (16), who all reached double digits.

"We can be tough to beat when we play the right way," OU head coach Jeff Capel said. "Every time we step on the floor we feel we have one of if not the best player in the country. So that gives us a chance that other teams don't have and we have other good players."

"Tony Crocker is a good player. Austin Johnson is a good player. Willie Warren is a good player. Taylor Griffin is having a good year. Everyone wants more from them. I want more from them, but these guys have done a good job so far and we are going to enjoy this (win)."


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