OU men's basketball: Kristian Doolittle's first win in Austin part of strong senior season
AUSTIN, Texas — Kristian Doolittle got to check something off his to-do list Wednesday night.
Win at Texas.
Oklahoma’s only senior had never won a basketball game in Austin, a place the Sooners hadn’t won since 2015. That changed Wednesday with Oklahoma’s 72-62 win over Texas in the Frank Erwin Center.
As he has in most of OU's wins this season, Doolittle played a big role against Texas, scoring a game-high 22 points, shooting 50% from the field and going 2-for-2 from 3-point range. He added eight rebounds.
“It's probably just a personal achievement,” Doolittle said, “being able to say I beat Texas at their place.”
An Edmond native, Doolittle grew up watching rivalry games like OU-Texas. He knows the stakes. He understands the importance. That brings extra pressure to represent his team and his family well.
“Just being from Oklahoma," Doolittle said, "it's always been Horns Down where I'm from.”
Winning at Texas isn’t the only notable accomplishment Doolittle has checked off his to-do list this season.
He is building off a junior season in which he was voted the Big 12's Most Improved Player. Now, he is arguably playing the best basketball of his Oklahoma career, his 22-point performance against the Longhorns marking the fourth time this season he has scored more than 20 points.
He leads the Sooners with 17.3 points a game, third best in the Big 12.
Doolittle has added to his skill set, too, most notably extending his range. After shooting only four 3-pointers last season — and missing all of them — he is shooting 53.8% from 3-point range this season.
Most importantly, though, Doolittle has been the Sooners' most consistent player, keeping games close when teammates are struggling and playing a key role late in games. On a team with plenty of newcomers learning and adjusting, Doolittle’s consistency has been vital to the team’s success.
OU is one of just four teams undefeated in Big 12 conference play, which continues for the Sooners on Saturday at Iowa State.
“I'm just happy we're 2-0 in conference,” Doolittle said after the win at Texas. “Half the teams already lost a game, so we knew coming into this game we wanted to make sure we were still undefeated in conference.”
Win at Texas?
Doolittle finally got to check that one off, too.
OU at Iowa State
When: 7 p.m., Saturday
Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
TV: ESPN2 (Cox 28)
Radio: KRXO-FM 107.7