March 8, 2008
Oklahoma (21-10, 9-7) defeated Missouri (16-15, 6-10) for the first time in the regular season since 2002. The Sooners improved to 110-93 in the overall series and to 63-21 in games played in Norman.
With the victory (its third straight), OU clinched the No. 4 seed in next week's Big 12 Championship. It marks the ninth first-round bye in the 12 years of the league's postseason event. Oklahoma will play in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT against the winner of the No. 5 (Baylor) vs. No. 12 (Iowa State or Colorado) first-round matchup.
Oklahoma closed the half on an 8-2 run, pulling to within two (39-37) at intermission. OU closed the game on a 33-19 run over the last 16:53 after it trailed 47-42.
OU outrebounded the Tigers 20-10 in the second half after being outboarded 22-10 before intermission.
The Sooners committed 14 turnovers to Mizzou's 17. The Tigers entered the contest ranked first in the conference in turnover margin at +4.2 per game.
Oklahoma was 26-of-52 (.500) from the field, marking its highest field goal percentage since a 64-61 victory over Oklahoma State in Norman on Jan. 28 (a span of 11 games) when the Sooners also shot .500 (19-of-38).
OU's nine-point defeat of the Tigers was its largest in the series since winning 84-71 in Norman in 2002. It was the largest margin of defeat in the series for either team since Missouri's 67-52 win in Columbia in 2003. Each of the last six meetings and nine of the last 12 had been decided by four or fewer points.
Scoring in double figures against Missouri's last 10 Big 12 South opponents, the Tigers' Keon Lawrence was limited to two points on 1-of-6 shooting today.
Austin Johnson scored a game-high-tying 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Fourteen of Johnson's points came after halftime as the Sooners improved to 13-1 (8-0 in Big 12 play) when the junior guard scores in double figures. Johnson also netted all 11 of his points in Wednesday's win at Oklahoma State after halftime.
Playing in the final home game of his OU career, David Godbold scored 16 points, including 12 in the second half. His 16 points were his second most in Big 12 play this year.
Just six days after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a partially torn medial meniscus in his right knee, Blake Griffin scored 14 points and added eight rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
Senior Longar Longar added eight points, a game-high-tying nine rebounds and a game-high three assists. It marked the second consecutive contest that the 6-11 center has led the team in assists.
Tony Crocker connected on his first two 3-point attempts in today's contest to extend his streak to seven straight makes dating back to Wednesday's game against Oklahoma State when he was a perfect 5-of-5 from long range.
OU's 21 3-point attempts tied its most in a Big 12 victory this year. The Sooners connected on 8-of-21 (.380) shots from long range against an MU squad that entered the game leading the Big 12 in 3-point percentage defense (.308).
The Sooners have made eight 3-pointers in each of the last two contests.