LUBBOCK, Texas — “Guys really moved the ball well. Guys made the extra pass and they shot it with confidence and made a lot of good plays for one another,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “Anytime you put up 17 assists — that’s a big number — you like to see that. We got good ball movement. When you make that extra pass, the shooter has real good rhythm and shoots it better. I think that happened a few times tonight.”
Texas Tech guard Josh Gray will was a thorn in OU’s side all night. The freshman scored a game-high 26 points and blew by just about any guard OU put on him. Gray also nabbed four steals. He picked OU guard Isaiah Cousins’ pocket twice in a 14-second span with both steals going for easy layups.
The second steal cut OU’s lead to 68-59 with 9:16 remaining. The Red Raiders (9-15, 2-11) had it down to seven with just inside 7 minutes remaining. OU reignited, closing the game with a 16-8 run. Grooms scored seven of his points during the final run.
“Sam was really good again, and it was great to see,” Kruger said.
The win was OU’s first in Lubbock since 2009 and helped them wash away the sour taste from last Saturday’s overtime loss at No. 14 Oklahoma State.
After it was over, OU once again had to fight the elements. The team left Norman earlier than it expected Wednesday due to the winter weather. Fog shut down Lubbock’s Preston Smith International Airport Wednesday afternoon. The Sooners had to take a bus back home.
At least they had something to feel good about during the overnight trip.