COLUMBIA, Mo. - The monkey is finally off Missouri's back.
The Tigers held Oklahoma to their worst shooting night of the season as they ended their nine-game losing streak to the Sooners, and improved to 14-0 at home this season with a 67-52 win Wednesday night in Columbia.
"It starts at the top with the coach," said Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, whose Sooners last lost to Missouri was in 1997. "We just weren't ready to play. Our kids were trying, but it just wasn't there. We didn't play well enough to win tonight."
The Sooners shot a season-low 27 percent from the field, including a combined 7-of-35 from starters Hollis Price (4-12), Quannas White (2-12) and Ebi Ere (1-11). OU also only connected on five of their 23 3-point attempts.
"You just have to make shots," added Sampson. "We had a lot of good looks. Hollis and Quannas had good looks but they didn't go in tonight. When Hollis, Quannas, Ebi and De'Angelo aren't shooting well that makes it tough for us."
"We had shots, but we just missed the shots we normally make," said Price, who led the Sooners with 16 points. "They showed how good they are. Their record is deceiving. Every game is important. Tonight is a letdown that shouldn't have happened."
But the Sooners still had their chances despite the poor shooting performance. Missouri would quickly extended their 30-22 halftime lead to 36-24 early in the second half, but the Sooners would not go away.
Oklahoma quickly responded and Hollis Price capped a 13-0 run with a 3-pointer with 10:40 to go to give the Sooners a 37-36 lead. But from that point on Missouri guard Ricky Paulding took over.
Paulding scored eight of his 14 points in a 10-2 that lasted just over two minutes that gave the Tigers the lead for good.
"When we took the lead at 37-36 it came down to executing some things," said Sampson. "All of the things that come down to why were are good resulted in why we were bad tonight. The energy level was low, and our emotion wasn't there. I'm not sure that we were ready to play emotionally."
"Our defense wasn't bad," Sampson continued. "We lost Paulding a couple times for three's and when we didn't answer that was the ball game."
"As a young coach in this league, to prepare a team to play against Kelvin Sampson's team is not an easy thing," said Missouri Head Coach Quin Sndyer, who is now 1-6 against Sampson and the Sooners. "Competition brings things out of you that otherwise you have a harder time accessing. Oklahoma brought those things out of our team tonight. I have immense respect for them, their kids and how they play, and their program in general."
Hollis Price led the Sooners with 16 points while Kevin Bookout and Jabahri Brown chipped in eight apiece.
Arthur Johnson led the Tigers with 20 points and shooting guard Ricky Clemons added 13 points despite playing with a broken left-hand (his non-shooting hand).
"I had a feeling he was going to play," said Sampson." Clemons is a tough guy. He showed it tonight."
With the loss the Sooners (19-5 overall and 10-3 in Big 12 play) fall out of a first-place tie with Kansas and into a second-place tie with Texas. Oklahoma travels to College Station Satuday for their final Big 12 conference road game of the season against Texas A&M. Tip-off is scheduled for 3pm.
"We just have to put this one behind us," Sampson said. "I'm not shocked at what happened, but I'm disappointed because we had a shot. This was not a typical Sooner performance."
"We've got three big games left. We've got to win all three and we'll see where we're at at the end."
OU-Missouri Box Score
Shooting woes cost Sooners
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