NORMAN, Okla. — With 2:40 left to play in the first half, Oklahoma led Nebraska 25-18. The hometown team appeared to be lackadaisical and the crowd was growing restless.
Four minutes and ten seconds later, with 18:30 to go in the second half, OU led the Huskers 50-18. The game was over, the Sooners were relaxed and the LNC crowd was able to classify this game for what it really was: a blowout.
"We just came out and played defense the way we know how to play defense," said OU center Jabahri Brown. "Not to take anything away from Nebraska because they're a great team but we came out and everything clicked on defense."
The switch inside Brown's head that clicked before the Kansas game has obviously not been tinkered with. The junior from St. Thomas had another outstanding game, making his presence felt all over the hardwood. His impressive line reads 14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, two assists and two steals, an outstanding performance all around.
"A player we spent a lot of time is Jabahri," said OU coach Kelvin Sampson. "We're getting him to be more offensive-minded. I think when you're aggressive on offense it carries over to other parts of your game. Jabahri is becoming a much better basketball player."
Buried within the 25-0 run that put the game away is a remarkable number: 11. Eleven consecutive shots attempted, 11 consecutive made. Most came on open looks in transition, which coincided with Oklahoma's stifling defense.
"I think they were more aggressive. They got some shots out on the break off our turnovers," said Nebraska coach Barry Collier. "I thought they were much more aggressive than us and were rewarded for such. I think in the end they shot really well from the perimeter and certainly Hollis Price did a great job leading them."
Price again led the Sooners in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Twenty points on only ten shots is impressive, especially when his 4-of-5 shooting from three-point land is thrown in, but, then again, the guy is a special player.
"What can I say about Hollis? He is the best player in this league period," Sampson said.
Encouraging to the eyes of the crimson and cream faithful was the balance displayed by Oklahoma tonight on offense. De'Angelo Alexander, Ebi Ere and Kevin Bookout also scored in double figures. Alexander had 15, while Ere and Bookout both had 10.
Quannas White, who had been a source of offensive production of late, was held to only three points, but he chimed in with ten assists. The Sooners as a team had 19 assists to go along with 27 baskets, a phenomenal show of team cohesion.
The Huskers are down, but they, much like the rest of the Big 12, are showing improvement. Andrew Drevo, a 6-8 junior, tossed in 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting. In a cauldron of crimson, he was a lone beacon of scarlet in what will be a forgetful night for Nebraska.
Tonight's win was the 37th in a row for Oklahoma within the coziness of the Lloyd Noble Center. Number 38 will not be easy as the Texas Longhorns come to town for 2003's second edition of the Red River Riot.
Emotions will be at a high, as it will be the last home appearance for Price, Ere, White and Jozsef Szendrei.
"These are two great programs. We're ranked No. 5 and they're No. 4," Sampson said. "They got us down in Austin so we're looking forward to playing them here Saturday."
Tip-off for this clash of Big 12 goliaths is scheduled for 2:30 on ABC.
BMart's Player of the Game
Jabahri Brown: 14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, two assists and two steals in 29 minutes of action. He was EVERYWHERE.
BMart's Play of the Game
Johnnie Gilbert's flush for an alley-oop, which came off of a Hollis Price pass, which was caused by a Jabahri Brown block. Defense leads to offense. The play personified everything that Kelvin Sampson tries to instill in his players. It was Sooner Basketball at its finest.
BMart's Heartfelt Plea
If you're able, be there for the Texas game. This senior class is one of the most successful in OU's storied history, and your attendance is not only something they've earned, but something they deserve.
Turek 3-6 1-6 7, Drevo 11-17 1-2 24, Johnson 0-2 2-2 2, Simms 1-4 0-1 2, Clemmons 3-12 2-3 8, Dourisseau 1-3 2-2 4, Wilkinson 1-3 0-0 2, Conklin 0-5 0-0 0, Bohac 1-1 0-0 2, Wilbrand 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 8-16 51.
Bookout 4-7 2-3 10, Brown 7-14 0-0 14, White 1-4 0-0 3, Price 7-10 2-2 20, Alexander 4-7 5-6 15, Ere 2-10 5-6 10, Zoschke 0-0 0-0 0, Johnston 0-1 0-0 0, Gipson 1-4 0-0 2, Gilbert 1-2 0-0 2, Szendrei 0-2 0-0 0, Liggett 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 14-17 76.
Halftime-Oklahoma 38-18. 3-Point goals-Nebraska 1-12 (Drevo 1-2, Johnson 0-1, Simms 0-1, Dourisseau 0-1, Wilkinson 0-1, Clemmons 0-3, Conklin 0-3). Oklahoma 8-19 (Price 4-5, Alexander 2-4, White 1-2, Ere 1-5, Johnston 0-1, Gipson 0-2). Fouled out-Turek. Rebounds-Nebraska 36 (Clemmons 11), Oklahoma 40 (Brown 8). Assists-Nebraska 7 (Clemmons 5), Oklahoma 19 (White 10). Total fouls-Nebraska 17, Oklahoma 15. A-11,890.
Price, Brown lead the way in rout of Nebraska
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