Jan 20, 2003

 

By OWEN CANFIELD
AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Held in check for much of the night and knocked out of the game for a while, Hollis Price came through at the end for No. 7 Oklahoma.

Price scored five points in the final 22 seconds of regulation, including an off-balance jumper at the buzzer to force overtime, then scored five more in the extra period as the Sooners beat Texas Tech 69-64 Monday night.

Price had to leave the game early in the second half after getting knocked down by Nick Valdez while chasing an outlet pass. He returned three minutes later with a butterfly bandage under his right eye and proceeded to beat up the Red Raiders.

"Hollis Price, I don't know," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Look in your archives. Whatever my best stuff is, pull it out."

Price scored 23 for the Sooners (12-3, 3-1 Big 12), who won their 32nd straight at home.

Texas Tech (11-3, 1-2) trailed by eight midway through the second half but rallied to take a three-point lead in the final 35 seconds, only to see Price come through late.

"If you're a basketball fan, you have to admire the kids on both teams," coach Bob Knight said. "We made the plays we had to to stay in the game. We got back in it and made a couple of plays. Price just made a tremendous play."

The Sooners' biggest lead was 47-39 after two free throws by Price with 10:29 left. But the Red Raiders rallied, going on an 11-5 run to get to 52-50, and it stayed close the rest of the way.

A layup by Ronald Ross with 1:29 to play, coming after Will Chavis picked the ball from Price near midcourt, gave Tech a 56-55 lead - its first lead since 36-35 early in the half.

Oklahoma missed two shots on its next possession and Kasib Powell, who scored 19, hit from inside for a 58-55 Tech lead with 35.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

Price then got fouled by Ross while going up with the ball at the top of the key. He was given three free throws and made all three to tie it at 58 with 22.3 remaining.

Chavis drew a foul from Price at the other end and sank both ends of a 1-and-1, giving Tech a 60-58 lead with 4.5 seconds remaining.

Kevin Bookout quickly inbounded the ball to Price, who dribbled up the floor and hit a jumper from near the foul line as the horn sounded.

"We tried to contain him," Knight said. "During the timeout, we told our kids that four seconds was enough time to get a shot off. He's just really so hard to contain. It was a tremendous effort he made."

Hollis Price shoots over Texas Tech forward Kasib Powell at the buzzer of regulation time for two points, sending the game into overtime.


Oklahoma had called a timeout after Chavis' first free throw. The plan was to get the ball to Price and let him use his quickness to get a shot, something Sampson said the Sooners practice often.

"I just wanted to use my speed," Price said. "Kevin made a good pass to me, he got it out quick. I just found a way to get the ball in the basket."

He started the overtime by making two free throws, then added a 3-pointer with 2:46 remaining for a 67-62 lead. Tech got to 67-64, then Powell missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Quannas White made two clinching free throws with 40.9 seconds remaining.

"I can't say enough about our team. We just find ways to win," Sampson said. "It's been a long time since we lost in this building and tonight was a night we could have easily lost."

Bookout, who left for a few minutes after banging his knee in the first half, had 15 points and eight rebounds. White added 10 points.

Andre Emmett scored 17 for the Red Raiders.