LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger was disappointed in his team’s defense down the stretch in regulation. His leading scorer was surprised at Texas Tech’s scrappiness.
“We didn’t think they was going to fight,” said Isaiah Cousins, who scored 22 points to help lead the No. 17 Sooners past Texas Tech 79-75 in overtime Saturday. “That’s on our part.”READ MORE: Anna Police Investigating Crash That Killed 22-Year-Old Man
Buddy Hield hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Cousins made a field goal and two free throws to help the Sooners (19-8, 10-5 Big 12) seal the win.
Cousins was 8 for 15 from the field, while Frank Booker scored a career-high 17 points on 4 for 8 — all 3-pointers.
Toddrick Gotcher scored a career-high 18 points and Keenan Evans added 17 to lead Texas Tech (12-16, 2-13).
Texas Tech got it to overtime after Gotcher missed his second free throw and teammate Isaiah Manderson grabbed the rebound. He tossed it to Gotcher who hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 67. Oklahoma had led 65-59 with 1:40 left in regulation.
“That was the plan to miss it,” Gotcher said. “Luckily it was a good miss and Isaiah got the rebound then kicked it out. Coach did a good job writing it up in the huddle”
Kruger watched as his defense struggled.
“It was really disappointing with our defense,” he said. “Zach Smith hit a deep three on the right wing — tough shot. Gotcher played well, made a big three.”
It was the fifth straight loss for Texas Tech (12-16, 2-13), but the first time since beating then No. 9 Iowa State in January that it scored more than 70 points.
The Sooners are now 1-1 in overtime contests. The lost at home to Kansas State 66-63. It was the second overtime loss for the Red Raiders.
Hield, who picked up his third foul early in the second half but played the rest of the way, scored just eight points. He was the Big 12’s leading scorer (17.2 points per game) coming into the game.
OU got outrebounded 27-24 but got 22 points from its bench. Texas Tech got more points in the paint (26-24) but got just two points from its bench.READ MORE: Texas Joins Oklahoma's Effort To Overturn McGirt
Oklahoma led 30-29 at halftime, despite having gone 2 for 8 from the field to close the period. The Sooners had nine turnovers, which match their total for the entire game in a blow-out win over the Red Raiders (81-36) in Norman last month. Buddy Hield, the Big 12’s leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, went to the bench late in the first half with two fouls and just two points.
The Red Raiders shot 52.6 percent, the highest since Dec. 17, when they shot 61.1 percent and getting 53 first-half points in a win over South Carolina State.
Oklahoma: The Sooners got their seventh win in eight games. They’ve held 21 of 26 opponents below their season average in points (at the time of the meeting). On Saturday they allowed Texas Tech more than 10 points above their season average (60.4 points).
Texas Tech: Texas Tech will need to get to the semifinal of the Big 12 tournament to have a winning record and avoid handing coach Tubby Smith his second straight losing season. The loss assured the Red Raiders of a fifth straight losing season. They have had losing conference records for eight straight seasons.
Texas Tech freshman center Isaiah Manderson, starting only his fourth game, injured his nose early in the game during a scrum for the ball to the right of the Red Raiders basket. He returned to the game a short time later with a bandage across the bridge of his nose. He went out with a left ankle injury early in the second half but returned a short time later.
Saturday’s outcome was a far cry from the two teams’ earlier meeting, which resulted in the worst loss in Tubby Smith’s career. The Red Raiders scored just 36 points in Norman last month. “I’m really proud of how our kids competed today after we were manhandled in Norman,” Smith said. “I was really pleased with our effort. We showed a lot of toughness today.”
Oklahoma goes to TCU next Saturday.MORE NEWS: 2 Killed, 5 Injured After Drag Racer Slams Into Spectators An Texas Airport
Texas Tech plays at TCU on Wednesday.