Takeaways from OU basketball home giveaway in 85-84 loss to Texas Tech

OU men's basketball began the week with a real opportunity, coming off a big road win and playing a couple of games at home with a chance to go three games over .500 in the ultra-tough Big 12.

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That was then, and this is now. And the resulting picture isn't near that pretty.

For the second time this month, Oklahoma has suffered back-to-back conference losses in the same week. Only this time, the consecutive losses came at home at Lloyd Noble Center, a place where Oklahoma was 11-0 this season entering the week.

The 11th-ranked Sooners (15-5, 3-4) lost by 15 to Texas earlier in the week, and on Saturday they allowed the Texas loss to turn into two, falling 85-84 to 10th-ranked Texas Tech.

Oklahoma fell behind early but fought back to take the lead and a one-point advantage at halftime. The two teams battled back a forth through the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Sooners reeled off a 14-5 run to go up 68-59 with 7:30 remaining in the game. At that point, it appeared that OU was on the verge of pulling away and closing out the game. Only the Red Raiders, who have now logged two road wins in the Big 12 this season, were not willing to give in that easily.

Led by Pop Issacs, who leads the Big 12 in scoring in conference game, Joe Toussaint and C McMillion, who scored 27 points off the bench, Texas Tech caught the Sooners at 73-all as the game clock went under three minutes to go. A three-point shot by McMillian gave the Red Raiders a 78-76 lead that they failed to relinquish the rest of the way.

Texas Tech made seven of eight free throws in the final two minutes to hold off the Sooners. Toussaint missed the second of two free throws with 17 seconds to go and the Red Raiders holding hold on to an 83-81 lead, but Milos Uzan missed a layup that could have tied the game. OU was forced to foul immediately, Issacs sunk a pair of free throws to seal the victory. Rivaldo Soares made a three-point shot at the buzzer to make it 85-84, but it was too little, too late.

Texas Tech retained its top spot in the Big 12 standings, improving to 5-1 and 16-4 overall. The Sooners fall to 3-4 in the Big 12 and 15-5 overall with a pair of road games next week: At Kansas State on Tuesday and at UCF on Saturday.

Three takeaways from the Sooners' discouraging loss to Texas Tech

  • The Sooners ended the game having to foul Texas Tech in hopes of trading missed free throws for field goals to make up the deficit. The problem with having to do that is that the Red Raiders are the best free throw-shooting team in the Big 12 and they sank seven of eight in crunch time down the stretch. Tech made 16 of 19 free throws in the game. Oklahoma made just 15 of 24, and that ended up costing the Sooners the game.
  • Oklahoma won the rebounding battle 34 to 32, including 12 offensive rebounds that contributed directly to 14 second-chance points.
  • Oregon transfer Rivaldo Soares was the leading scorer for Oklahoma, scoring a season-high 19 points coming off the bench. He hit 6 of 10 field-goal attempts, including three of five from behind the three-point arc. His previous high was 15 points against Texas-Rio Grande Valley.