Men's basketball: Osby scores career high, leads Sooners past Texas
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
Senior forward Romero Osby continued his dominant play in Big 12 conference games Monday night, as the OU men’s basketball team survived a late charge to beat Texas, 73-67, at Lloyd Noble Center.
Osby had one of his best games of his career — recording a career-high 29 points to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks — to lead the Sooners to their first win against Texas since upsetting the then-No. 10 Longhorns, 80-71, on Feb. 6, 2010.
“It was just a testament to my teammates and coach,” Osby said. “They were giving me the ball, and I didn’t have to do much. The 29 points came from them.
“Things were just clicking tonight.”
Osby carried the team on a night when the Sooners had a hard time getting any offensive momentum in the first half.
Texas led 24-21 late in the first half, before Osby scored nine consecutive points, giving the Sooners a 30-26 halftime lead.
But Osby wasn’t alone in having a big stat line, as both freshman guard Buddy Hield and junior forward Amath M’Baye also had big nights.
Hield scored 12 points and had four rebounds and four assists, while M’Baye put up 15 points and pulled down five boards.
“It’s always easier to work next to someone like [Osby],” M’Baye said. “All of the attention is on them, and [the other team] tends to forget you in the back.”
After an extremely sloppy first half, in which the two teams combined for 21 turnovers, both teams settled in and played much better in the second half.
“There was a little bit of a struggle to get going,” coach Lon Kruger said. “Texas played really hard and was very physical with us, and it took a little while to work through that.
“We came out with great energy in the second half and played off of Romero.”
Texas sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan, who had his own big night, led the Longhorns and finished with 25 points and four rebounds.
After leading by double digits for decent chunks of the second half, the Sooners had to withstand several rallies by Texas, most notably one that came within the last two minutes of the game.
After the Sooners stretched the lead to 69-58 with 1:42 left, Texas sophomore forward Jaylen Bond made the front end of a pair of three throws, and freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou hit back-to-back three pointers — cutting OU’s lead to four.
However, the Sooners were unfazed, and closed the game out with clutch free throws by Osby and senior guard Sam Grooms.
Coming into the game, OU had lost its past five contests against the Longhorns.
“We finally got these guys,” Osby said. “They got us twice last year. To come in and finally get a chance to beat them feels really good.”