March 1, 2003

By MICHAEL A. LUTZ
AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hollis Price scored 23 points, including two free throws with 7 seconds to play, and No. 3 Oklahoma almost blew a 17-point lead before holding off Texas A&M 69-64 Saturday.

The Sooners (20-5, 11-3 Big 12) withstood A&M's pressing defense over the final five minutes to stretch their record to 19-1 over the Aggies, including the last eight in a row.

Texas A&M (13-12, 5-9) needs one more victory to have their first .500 season since 1994-95.

The Sooners seemingly had the game under control, leading 59-42 with 3:13 to play, but the Aggies rallied behind Bernard King, the Big 12's all-time scoring leader who had three points at halftime.

King had 12 of his 17 points over the final eight minutes and the Aggies got within 67-64 with 9 seconds left on King's 3-pointer. Price then hit his free throws to keep the Sooners ahead.

Price had 15 points as the Sooners took a 28-20 halftime lead. He grabbed the opening tip and drove for a layup and Oklahoma never trailed in the game.

King, who became the league's all-time leading scorer earlier this season, scored a season-low seven points in A&M's loss to Kansas on Wednesday.

Price was 6-for-9 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, in the first half. He had seven points in a 9-0 run as the Sooners pulled away from a 12-11 lead to go up 21-11 with 7:41 left in the half.

A dunk and 3-pointer by Tomas Ress helped the Aggies get within 25-20 before a 3-pointer by De'Angelo Alexander put the Sooners up by eight at halftime.

The Aggies haven't beaten Oklahoma since winning 74-72 on a buzzer beater in 1998-99.