Osby lifts Oklahoma to 73-67 win over Texas
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
1/22/13 at 7:18 AM
NORMAN - Midway through Monday's first half, Sam Grooms missed a baseline jumper, and it looked like Romero Osby could punch a brick wall.
Oklahoma was trailing Texas despite the fact the Longhorns were playing like the winless-in-conference team they were. Osby, OU's leading scorer, wasn't making much impact.
Thus he clenched his fists and shouted toward the 7,335 Lloyd Noble Center fans.
"Get me the ball!" Osby seemed to scream. "And we'll win this thing!"
It took a few minutes longer, but eventually the Sooners started listening. They got Osby the ball.
And they won the thing, 73-67.
OU improved to 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12 mostly because Osby seized control of the game, beginning with 3:22 remaining in the first half. That's when he drove at Prince Ibeh and made two free throws to close the Sooners within 24-23.
It's the sort of thing that happens when a skilled senior is playing one-on-one against an overmatched freshman. The Sooners were onto something.
OU got it back, and this time Osby took Ibeh outside before scoring over him. The Sooners took possession again, and Osby went at Ibeh, spun hard and finished softly with his left hand.
Then, with 1:05 remaining before the half, Osby got it again on the baseline. He faked Ibeh off balance, drove again and converted a three-point-play.
That gave Osby nine points in OU's 11-2 half-ending run. The Sooners led 30-26.
The second half was mostly a matter of stretching it out, just a little at a time, and calming down after Texas had closed a 67-56 deficit to 69-65 with a minute remaining. Osby finished with a career-high 29 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
The OU students turned out for a change, and they had something to holler back at the Sooners' bell cow after the final horn: "Os-by! Os-by! Os-by!"
He made 9-of-15 field goals, 10-of-11 free throws, plus three steals and two blocked shots.
Osby had some help. Forward Amath M'Baye had 15 points and five rebounds and several vicious alley-oop finishes. Freshman guard Buddy Hield did a little of everything - 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals.
But make no mistake, this was Osby's night.
He turned the game late in the first half, then picked OU up in the second. He took advantage of Ibeh for another three-point play with 14:57 remaining, pushing the lead to 41-34.
The Sooners didn't have a 3-pointer until Osby's 3 with 12:25 to play. That came after he had cleared the defensive boards, and it gave OU a 48-36 cushion.
Texas, now 8-10 and 0-5, finally started awakening on offense. But Osby answered with two more free throws and a reverse layup to protect the lead at 54-45.
OU kept the Longhorns at arm's length from there, until breaking down a bit in the final two minutes. Sheldon McClellan, Texas' leader with 25 points, missed a 3 with 41 seconds left. It would have pulled the Longhorns within 70-68.
The shot rimmed off and fell, naturally, to Osby. He made two more free throws, and the Sooners were safe.
3 p.m. Saturday
Radio: KTBZ am1430
Original Print Headline: Osby lifts OU past Texas
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
OU's Romero Osby drives to the basket against Texas' Jonathan Holmes during Monday night's game in Norman. NATE BILLINGS / The Oklahoman