OU Falls in Close Contest against Texas Tech
|Points||Ross - 18||McGusty - 16|
|Rebounds||Smith - 9||Two Players - 6|
|Assists||Two Players - 3||Odomes - 3|
|Steals||Smith - 1||Odomes - 2|
|Blocks||Smith - 2||McNeace - 2|
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The Oklahoma men’s basketball team dropped a close decision to Texas Tech on Saturday night, falling 77-69 inside United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech's Aaron Ross' deliberate, focused free-throw approach paid off: the redshirt-senior forward made 6 of 8 free throws in the final 2:30 and finished with 18 points.
"(Assistant coach Larry Brown) is on me every day," Ross said. "Ten free throws a day. That's been my routine all my life. Just take my time at the free throw line. And unfortunately, I missed two free throws today. Kind of disappointed with myself."
Keenan Evans and Justin Gray finished with 14 points apiece for the Red Raiders (16-7, 4-6 Big 12). Zach Smith added 12 points and nine rebounds and Anthony Livingston scored 11.
Kameron McGusty led Oklahoma with 16 points. Rashard Odomes added 13 points while Jordan Woodard and Khadeem Lattin scored 11 apiece.
"We give ourselves a chance when we don't turn over the ball and take great shots," Evans said. "Even though this league, almost every game has come down to one possession games. We just wanted to really finish this one out so we can turn around our season."
Two free throws by Ross capped an 8-2 run and put the Red Raiders up 70-63 with 1:49 left. Kristian Doolittle made a 3-pointer to pull Oklahoma (8-14, 2-8) to 71-67 with 38 second left but Ross, Evans and Gray each hit 2 of 2 free throws from there to seal it.
"Too many breakdowns in the last five minutes," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "Too many wasted possessions. Fouled. Couldn't keep the ball in front of us as well as we need to. Tech took advantage of that."
Texas Tech built a 23-14 lead after Ross and Livingston hit back-to-back 3s. During that stretch, Oklahoma was scoreless for six-plus minutes and missed 10 straight shots. The Sooners made seven of their last nine first-half shots, but trailed 36-29 at the break.
Making just his second start this season, junior transfer Niem Stevenson finished with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists for Texas Tech.
"I think as of the last couple of games, he's kind of turning the corner individually," Beard said of Stevenson. "But the exciting thing is there is even a bigger ceiling for Niem. I thought played a nice floor game tonight."