Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners Hold Off TCU, Poised for Run at Big 12 Title


The Oklahoma basketball team was able to hold off a feisty TCU Horned Frogs team with a 67-60 victory in front of a subdued home crowd in Norman on Saturday. 

For the third straight season the 16th-ranked Sooners reached the 20-win mark and are just two wins away from at least a share of the Big 12 title.With big games versus 12th-ranked Iowa State and 8th-ranked Kansas ahead of the Sooners, Lon Kruger’s team should have made easy work of Texas Tech and TCU in its previous two games.

After needing overtime to beat the Red Raiders, the Sooners found themselves trailing for most of the day against TCU. Having not played for a week and with the home crowd under a snow storm induced coma, the Sooners showed some rust and seemed very lethargic for most of Saturday’s contest with the Horned Frogs, who were looking for their first win on the road versus a ranked team since joining the Big 12.

Fortunately for the Sooners, TaShawn Thomas and Buddy Hield came through when it was needed most. Thomas finished strong and hit two free throws to put the game away late on his way to a 15-point performance. Hield was solid all game long, but made plays on both ends of the court late as the Wooden Award candidate finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Feb 28, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard

Isaiah Cousins

(11) shoots a lay up over TCU Horned Frogs forward

Amric Fields

(4) and forward

Chris Washburn

(33). Sooners win 67-60 at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit:

Rob Ferguson


Thanks to a Kansas loss to Kansas State and Iowa State’s loss to Baylor, the Sooners are in position to win their first Big 12 regular season championship since sharing the title with Kansas in 2005. Kruger will need his team to play much better over the next week as the Sooners end the regular season against the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa on Big Monday and at home versus the Jayhawks next Saturday.

After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, the Sooners finally woke up and took its first lead since the 7:23 mark in the first half with a layup by Thomas. The senior would get a big dunk on the next possession to extend the Sooner lead to 60-56. Thomas and Jordan Woodard would hit some key free throws in the final minute to seal the win for Oklahoma.

Junior Ryan Spangler rebounded from a couple of tough outings by getting into double digits scoring with 10 points. Isiah Cousins, who has been nursing a hand injury also chipped in 10 points for the Sooners.

For the third consecutive season Kruger has his Sooners at the 20-win mark (20-8, 11-5 Big 12) and now look to pad their resume heading into the postseason. A strong finish to the regular season accompanied by a conference title would make Oklahoma one of the hotter teams in the country going into the Big 12 tournament and selection Sunday.

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Coming into the day Oklahoma was in a 3-way tie with West Virginia and Iowa State for second place in the Big 12. While they certainly have their eyes set on Kansas at that top spot, the Sooners can’t afford to slip up in its final two regular season games.

With a race this tight a loss or two could be the difference between first place in the conference and fifth place. It could also be the difference between a possible 2-seed and a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament.

Oklahoma will play at Iowa State on ESPN Big Monday at 8pm Monday night. A win in Ames would setup perhaps the biggest game the Lloyd Noble Center has seen in a decade when Kansas comes to town next Saturday for a 3pm tip-off and a possible Big 12 crown on the line.

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