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January 6, 2014

Sooners edge Texas in Austin

(Continued)

AUSTIN, Texas —

“My teammates found me in my comfortable spots,” Hield said. “Everyone found each other at the right times.”

Defense, or lack of it, has been the bane of OU’s existence thus far. The problems continued Saturday. Texas shot 50.8 percent (31 for 61). The Sooners overcame it in two critical areas: rebounding (39 to 28) and free throws. The Sooners were 21 for 26 from the charity stripe. The Longhorns went 14 for 20, but five of the misses were during a critical stretch late in the game.

OU trailed by one with 3:24 to go and the Longhorns had chances at the foul line to extend the lead. Felix missed a pair and Cameron Ridley, who added 14 points and eight rebounds, also missed a pair.

Hield responded with a 3-pointer with 2:24 left to give the Sooners a two-point lead. They never trailed again.

The victory exorcised a few of the demons from the Sooners’ previous trip to the Erwin Center. Last time, they held a 22-point lead with a little less than eight minutes to go and wound up losing, 92-86, in overtime.

With eight minutes to go Saturday, OU faced its largest deficit and pulled together and won. 

“The opportunity was there to go either direction,” Kruger said. “It’s hard to finish a game and get a win … I thought our last couple minutes was executed pretty well.”

The two are completely different teams in many ways. One obvious one is that Cameron Clark, who was held to eight points and was the player the Longhorns wanted to take away, and Neal were the only seniors on the floor Saturday night. OU’s youngsters showed the poise it took to pull out a huge win at venue that hasn’t been kind of late.

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