AUSTIN- A full-team effort powered the Oklahoma Sooners to their first in win at the Texas Longhorns since 2015.
A strong second half saw the Sooners win 72-62, moving to 11-3 on the season and a perfect 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play. Here are three takeaways from the Sooners’ win:
Young players shot their way out of their slumps
Oklahoma has been top heavy to start the season, relying mainly on Austin Reaves, Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle.
Against the Longhorns, the Sooners were buoyed by contributions from guards Jamal Bieniemy and De’Vion Harmon.
Bieniemy may have shot himself out of his slump in Austin, scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Lon Kruger has praised Bieniemy for not allowing his offensive struggles to impact his effort on the defensive end of the floor, but Bieniemy was able to turn in a complete game for Oklahoma.
Harmon was electric in the second half for the Sooners as well. Scoring all nine of his points in the second half, Harmon provided a spark for his team down the stretch, including finishing off an old fashioned three point play to kill the Longhorns’ final run with five minutes left in the game.
The Big 12 Conference slate is a grind, and Oklahoma will need more guys than their big three to continue to step up if they want to make noise come March.
Sooners win in uncharacteristic manner
Th0ugh Oklahoma won the game, it was an uncharacteristic performance from the Sooners.
This season, two hallmarks of Oklahoma basketball have been efficient free throw shooting and the Sooners’ ability to take care of the basketball.
For much of the night against Texas, the Longhorns forced more turnovers than Oklahoma, and outscored the Sooners 14-8 off of turnovers.
Oklahoma also shot just 10-of-18 from the free throw line, a shock considering the Sooners have been one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country this season.
Thankfully for the Sooners, they finally found their range from deep, making 6-of-15 three point shots to make up for the lost ground on the free throw line.
Doolittle continues to dominate
Doolittle continued his reign of terror this season against the Longhorns.
Though he fell short of a double-double, he still logged 8 rebounds to go along with his 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
As the season has gone on, Doolittle continues to grow in confidence, pouring in shots from all areas of the floor.
Kruger will have to love the efforts of his senior, as he continues to be the most consistent option for the Sooners.
Oklahoma will hit the road again on Jan. 11 when they head to Aimes, IA to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.