OU survives roller-coaster ride against UTA
Ugly, ugly, ugly.
That’s the only way to describe Oklahoma’s roller-coaster 63-59 win Friday at Texas-Arlington, but as the cliché goes: a win is a win.
The Sooners (2-0) trailed by as many as nine points early before Buddy Hield’s 17-point eruption off the bench propelled OU to a 27-9 run over the last nine minutes of the half and a 38-28 halftime lead.
Oklahoma would push the lead to as many as 17 at the 15:13 mark of the second half, but things would break down from there in a major way.
Texas-Arlington (1-1) tied the game at 57-57 with 2:40 to go, but Steven Pledger’s 3-pointer from the corner just 17 seconds later gave OU the lead for good and they would hold off the Mavericks from the free throw line down the stretch.
The four heroes for Oklahoma on this night were seniors Romero Osby, Sam Grooms, Pledger and the freshman Hield, who surprisingly didn’t get much playing time or touches (one shot attempt) in the second half.
Osby was a man in the second half, pulling down several key rebounds to finish with a double-double — 10 points and 10 rebounds. Pledger scored 11 points, but four of them were in the final 2:23 of the game.
Grooms, OU’s starter at point guard last year, struggled in the first half off the bench, but saved the Sooners in the second half with his ball-handling after freshmen Je’lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins turned it over four times against UTA’s pressure.
The win came before a Texas Arlington school-record 6,421 fans at their new College Park Center
Up next for Oklahoma is UTEP on Nov. 22 in the first round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.