OU basketball: 3 takeaways from Sooners' 69-67 loss to No. 15 Texas Tech
NORMAN — OU senior Austin Reaves had a clean look on the putback.
Leaping over a group of rebounders, the point guard grabbed the rebound and got off what looked like a sure bank shot near the rim to tie the game as time expired.
Instead, it rolled off the rim.
The Sooners suffered their first Big 12 loss of the season Tuesday night, falling to No 15 Texas Tech 69-67 at Lloyd Noble Center in dramatic fashion.
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OU (6-2, 1-1) now awaits West Virginia when play resumes on Jan. 2.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s loss:
OU had its chances, even before the miss at the buzzer.
The Sooners had eight possessions where they could either tie or take the lead in the second half, failing to do so each time.
What made it worse is that the missed opportunities came in long scoring droughts. OU had two stretches of nearly 4 minutes without scoring, but the Sooners also held Texas Tech in check.
It was just that kind of night, including in the final minute.
OU’s Umoja Gibson hit a 3-pointer with 48.3 seconds remaining to get within two.
Texas Tech transfer Mac McClung instead responded with a wild reverse layup against multiple defenders 18 seconds later.
OU’s De’Vion Harmon got a layup to drop with 15.7 seconds left, but McClung made two free shots.
Austin Reaves followed with a quick 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left. McClung again hit two free shots after the immediate foul by OU.
Harmon was then fouled, making the first free shot. He missed the second intentionally. Victor Iwuakor got the rebound and was fouled on his attempted putback.
But he missed the first free shot. He missed the second on purpose, setting up a few tips near the rim that landed in Reaves’ hands for the final shot.
OU also struggled from the free-throw line, making just 17 of 27. Texas Tech attempted just 10 total free shots.
Sophomore De’Vion Harmon became the Sooners’ iron man.
The talented guard played all but 2 minutes. It was for good reason. He was rolling and carrying the Sooners on a night OU’s superstars Austin Reaves and Brady Manek were not at their best.
Harmon scored 17 points, grabbed two rebounds and finished with two steals.
Reaves finished with 14 points, three assists and four turnovers. Manek struggled, finishing with just two points while shooting 1 of 7 in 23 minutes.
Harmon instead picked up the slack.
He hit two big 3-pointers to open the second half. He had two big steals. He was simply playing free with a ton of energy against a tough Texas Tech team.
OU also got a big spark for the second straight game from reserve forward Victor Iwuakor. He had eight points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Texas Tech made life hard for the Sooners from behind the arc and near the rim.
So, they took what they could, and that was an old-school shot. The mid-range jumper.
In the first half, OU took 15 jumpers, making seven. Harmon hit multiple mid-range shots. Gibson and Jalen Hill also pitched in a jump shot apiece.
It kept OU hanging around against a tough Texas Tech defense in the first half, even as the Sooners went on a near-4 minute scoring drought to end the half.
The jumpers also put on display the Sooners’ offensive versatility.
They’ve thrived on 3-point shooting early this season. But when taken away, they have the ability to adjust.