Sooners Reverse Trend, Finish Strong

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 22, 2012

By Andrew Gilman |
NORMAN, Okla. -- Hard to believe the Sooners could believe.

After all, in a season of leads-gone-bad for Oklahoma, Wednesday night in Norman looked to be just another situation where the Sooners would be talking about another game that got away.

Ahead by 18 at halftime, the Sooners let that lead go in a hurry as OSU got to within three less than 7 minutes into the second half.

The Cowboys reversed the momentum but the Sooners reversed their season-long trend. Instead of faltering, OU flourished, answering the Cowboys' rally with its own and answering some of their issues at the same time in the 77-64 victory over OSU.

Oklahoma 77, Oklahoma State 64 | Wednesday, Feb. 22
Recap | Box Score | Highlights | Gameday Central

OU had some close calls and some "could-have-beens" in losses at home to Kansas, Iowa State, Texas, Missouri and Baylor, and it looked like it could go that way again Wednesday when Oklahoma State opened the second half by scoring 12 points in the first 1:28. A 30-12 lead was down to 42-39 with 13:05 left.

But from there, OSU missed a pair of 3-pointers on the next possession and OU didn't just hang on, the Sooners took over.

"It was good that we can see ourselves doing that now," Steven Pledger said. "They made a run and we made our own, and sustained it."

OU's run consisted of made field goals on 10 of its next 15 shots. Also, OU turned the ball over over just twice in the next 10-plus minutes. After the Cowboys got to within three, OU scored baskets on its next four possessions and bumped its lead back to nine.

In OSU's four possession during the stretch, OU forced two turnovers and forced the Cowboys into 0-for-4 shooting from the field.

That was enough to help the Sooners end a six-game losing streak and lose the baggage of not being able to finish in the second half.

"It went our way," said OU's Romero Osby. "It felt good to get out of that situation. We needed a win desperately."

The Sooners improved to 14-13 and 4-11 in the Big 12.

"We got a couple of stops," coach Lon Kruger said. "Hopefully, there's a growing opportunity there. The guys responded well."

Osby responded with an impressive 16 points and 13 rebounds. Pledger had 17 points and Cameron Clark had 14.

Meanwhile, that was enough to offset OSU's Keiton Page, who had 26 of his 29 points in the second half.

"It feels great," said OU's C.J. Washington, who had eight rebounds, the most he's had since Dec. 21. "We got the stops we needed and responded to their run."



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