Maybe OU just needs a little bit of extra motivation before every game.
Saturday's came in the form of a remembrance day of the great Wayman Tisdale, and the Sooners responded with the heart and hustle that was so often witnessed when Tisdale took the court, as they never trailed on their way to seizing a huge 80-71 upset victory over their Red River Rival Texas Longhorns.
"What a great day to celebrate the greatest Sooner basketball player in the history of the program," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "With our win today, we honored Wayman, and I told our guys, ‘Play with the heart that Wayman displayed so much, not just in basketball, but in his life.'"
The Sooners did that from the get-go, as they jumped out to an early lead, in large part due to lights out shooting from the perimeter in the first half.
Freshman guard Tommy Mason-Griffin and junior guard Cade Davis provided most of the early lift by each hitting four threes in the first 20 minutes, part of a 9-for-16 shooting mark from behind the arc as a team over that time period.
Most of those looks, even for
"[For] aggressive defense, like, I use my quickness," Mason-Griffin said. "As soon as they get up there on me, I try to just use my quickness, and dudes that sag off, I try to get in a rhythm and get to my pull up jumper."
"He is a real good player," Bradley said. "My coach wanted me to guard him and just play hard defense on him. I just took the challenge and wanted to step up and make plays for my team. Like I said, he is just a good all-around player. He is so quick and fast. He is a good player, and so he is a hard player to guard."
So, with Mason-Griffin's great night shooting and distributing the ball around, the Sooners were able to stretch out an 18-point halftime lead.
But the Longhorns fought back, gradually cutting the deficit.
Midway through the second half,
And they hung around, chipping it to just five points with the ball and less than two minutes remaining.
But OU got a pivotal stop, followed by a monster rebound by freshman guard Steven Pledger that virtually sealed the deal after he converted two free throws thanks to a
Mason-Griffin led all scorers with 24 points on 6-for-12 shooting, and
Senior forward Ryan Wright also completed a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Bradley led the Longhorns with 21.
The Sooners next take the court at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Texas Tech at the