NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — With Buddy Hield struggling, Oklahoma found points from unlikely sources.
Jordan Woodard scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, Dinjiyl Walker and Frank Booker each scored 10 points, and the 17th-ranked Sooners rallied for a 71-69 win over Texas on Tuesday night.
Woodard is Oklahoma’s only starter who doesn’t average double figures, and Walker and Booker are reserves. The unexpected outbursts were needed because Hield, the Big 12’s leading scorer, finished with just 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting.
Woodard had six points, a steal and an assist in the final 3:13 for the Sooners (18-8, 9-5 Big 12).
“It seemed like Texas had just a little bit of a step on us, maybe a little bit of a margin, and yet our guys kept working at it and made big plays down the stretch,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.
Hield was glad to see Walker and Booker perform so well. Walker made 4 of 5 shots in 10 minutes and Booker made 2 of 4 3-pointers.
“I keep talking to Dinjiyl and Frank,” Hield said. “Frank has been doing a good job, great job the past couple of games and stepping up and making shots and now Dinjiyl is doing it now. Hopefully they’ll keep their confidence up because we’re going to need that down the stretch.”
Oklahoma swept the regular-season series with the Longhorns. The Sooners won the first meeting 70-49 in Austin. Oklahoma bounced back from a loss at Kansas State last Saturday and now has won six of seven.
Myles Turner had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, and Kendal Yancy added 14 points for the Longhorns (17-9, 6-7), who had won three straight. Texas coach Rick Barnes was seeking his 400th win at the school, but the Longhorns fell apart late.
“They’re an outstanding team,” Barnes said of Oklahoma. “We did a lot of good things tonight. We’re close, but close doesn’t get it done.”
With Texas up six and under four minutes to play, Woodard hit a 3-pointer. Woodard had made just 1 of 7 shots in the game before nailing the critical shot.
Woodard then stole the ball, and TaShawn Thomas scored inside and was fouled. He converted the free throw to tie the game with 2:31 remaining. The 6-foot Woodard’s driving layup with 1:32 to play finally put the Sooners up 66-64, then he found Ryan Spangler for a reverse layup to put Oklahoma ahead 68-64 with 21.8 seconds left.
Turner made two free throws to make it 68-66, and Woodard made the second of two free throws on the other end to make it a three point game with 7.4 seconds to play. Yancy missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Hield rebounded, and he made both free throws at the other end to put the game out of reach.
“Coach does a good job of sitting us down, and no matter how many points we’re down, he always keeps us together as a group,” Hield said. “Everybody just stays positive and we just find a way to win — go out and make some key buckets.”
Ultimately, Texas couldn’t find the points to counter Oklahoma’s late surge.
“Offensively, you still have to make plays,” Barnes said. “We had some looks at it and that’s part of it. Overall, there were some good things. I just know that we’ve got a chance to be a really good team, but we still have to get everybody playing to the ability that we know they can.”
Texas: Turner, who had started the previous four games, came off the bench. A Texas spokesman said it was a coaches’ decision. Turner had 25 points and 12 rebounds in Texas’ previous game last Saturday against Texas Tech. … Five Longhorns blocked at least one shot in the first half. The Longhorns blocked 13 shots as a team.
Oklahoma: Spangler hit the floor hard with under three minutes left in the first half and was holding his right elbow. After briefly walking to the bench, he stayed in the game. … Oklahoma’s starting guards shot 4-for-19 in the first half. … Oklahoma had a season-low five turnovers.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Thomas, on taking the coaches’ advice and pump faking on a key shot he made late in the game.
“For that last one, I kind of had it in my head I was going to do one or two extra pump fakes. It actually worked for me. I was happy that I finally got that last one in, and it was big one that tied the game, too.”
Oklahoma made 14 2-point shots and had 13 shots blocked. The Sooners shot just 36.1 percent from the field.
Texas: Hosts Iowa State on Saturday.
Oklahoma: At Texas Tech on Saturday.
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