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OU basketball: Sooners fall to Texas Tech on road

Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) looks to pass the ball around Oklahoma's Victor Iwuakor (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (Brad Tollefson/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)
Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) looks to pass the ball around Oklahoma's Victor Iwuakor (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (Brad Tollefson/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)

Oklahoma was down by five points with under a minute left when Austin Reaves passed the ball to Brady Manek.

Manek caught the ball while turning around to put up a jump shot. His shot bounced off the backboard and didn’t touch the rim.

While there was still time left on the clock after the shot, the game was over. Oklahoma was forced to start fouling Texas Tech, and the Sooners didn’t get another shot to go in. 

The Sooners have been up and down in road games during conference play. Oklahoma showed it’d learned from its last road outing in its 69-61 to Texas Tech on Tuesday. The Sooners had a solid performance for most of the game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Red Raiders 66.7% shooting from the field in the second half.

In other road Big 12 games this season, Oklahoma (14-8, 4-5 Big 12) beat Texas and played a close game against No. 1-ranked Baylor. But against Iowa State and Kansas State, Oklahoma struggled to find its footing and played some of its worst basketball of the season, coupling slow starts with bad shooting performances.

“What we learned from it is we didn’t like the way we played,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said of the Sooners' games in Ames, Iowa, and Manhattan, Kansas. “The value of each possession opening games with an urgency, doing the little things in a game that you do every day in practice, everything that you do to try to get better as a team, but when you don’t do those things on the road especially, you hope to learn from it.”

Against Texas Tech (14-8, 5-4 Big 12) Oklahoma started strong and had a solid shooting performance. The Sooners were shooting 48% from the field and were up 31-30 at halftime. They finished the game shooting 44.6%, but Texas Tech shot 52.2% from the field in the game. Junior forward Manek scored a team-high 19 points and added five rebounds in the loss.

Oklahoma kept the game close until the 4:23 mark when Texas Tech started to build a lead that the Sooners didn’t stop.

Redshirt junior Reaves built on his 21-point performance against Oklahoma State on Saturday with a 16-point game on Tuesday. He kept Oklahoma in the game late against Texas Tech, knocking down 3-point shots to keep the game close. He was the only Sooner to score in the last five minutes of the game.

With less than five minutes left in the game, junior Alondes Williams threw a pass across the court to Reaves in the corner. Reaves faked a shot, dribbled once and drained a 3-point shot to tie the game at 56.

With 2:10 left in the game, the Red Raiders got their largest lead of the game off a Kyler Edwards layup that put Texas Tech up by six points. The Red Raiders were added to the lead, mostly thanks to foul shots.

The Sooners showed they’ve learned from their bad road losses, playing a more competitive game against Texas Tech and keeping it close to the end.

Oklahoma will be back home on Saturday to play West Virginia.

Abby Bitterman

Abby Bitterman covers OU athletics for The Oklahoman. She joined The Oklahoman in September 2019 to cover high school sports. A Chicago native, Abby graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2019 with degrees in journalism and political... Read more ›

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