Oklahoma (15-14, 5-11 Big 12) defeated Oklahoma State (13-15, 6-10) 66-62 in overtime in Norman on Saturday. The win snaps a four-game Bedlam losing streak and is the Sooners’ first since Feb. 1, 2020.
Senior forward Tanner Groves led OU with 14 points. Senior guards Jordan Goldwire and Umoja Gibson scored 13 points each and junior forward Jalen Hill contributed six points and nine rebounds. Guard Avery Anderson led Oklahoma State with 25 points.
Here are five final takeaways from Oklahoma’s win:
First Bedlam win in two years
Bedlam lived up to its chaotic name in Norman. OU surrendered seven unanswered points in the final 1:30 of regulation to send the game to overtime.
An emphatic dunk to tie the game with 10 seconds left from OSU center Moussa Cisse quieted the Lloyd Noble Center crowd before an off-target floater from Goldwire and a Groves tip-in attempt fell short at the buzzer.
A coterie of Oklahoma fans made their way to the exits after the sequence to end the second half, likely anticipating another rendition of the Sooners’ 80-78 overtime loss to Texas on Feb. 15 and its 59-58 overtime loss to TCU on Jan. 15.
However, a different result played out for OU. In the extra period, Oklahoma State took a one-point lead with 2:22 remaining, but the Sooners tied the game on a Gibson free throw with 1:01 to play and took the lead on two free throws by Tanner with 36 seconds remaining.
With 17 seconds left, senior guard Marvin Johnson stole an OSU inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast for the game clinching layup before grabbing the final rebound. Johnson tied his season high with 10 points and added six rebounds and two steals to help deliver coach Porter Moser’s first rivalry win.
“This game meant a lot for a lot of reasons,” Moser said. “We needed to get back on track for this season right here. But also… you don’t want to belittle (rivalry games), you know how important that is as well.”
Groves brothers shine
Tanner and his brother, junior forward Jacob Groves, played key roles for the Sooners in the win. Jacob opened the game with eight of OU’s first 10 points, hitting two 3-pointers and a layup sandwiched around a Goldwire layup. Tanner began the second half by replicating that feat with eight points of his own.
A moment for the back-to-back 3s.A moment for the beard. @OU_MBBall pic.twitter.com/YWaRRrW9mt
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) February 26, 2022
With 7:28 to play, Jacob fouled out after diving after a loose ball. He finished with 10 points on 2-for-4 shooting from 3-point range in just 16 minutes.
“Jacob Groves got us out of the gate,” Moser said. “He came in so ready… Tanner got us going in the second half. I thought he made some really good baskets; he had a key drive… he had some toughness plays today.”
Tanner continued to have an impact for Oklahoma down the stretch, including a layup with 5:49 to play that gave the Sooners their largest lead of the half at 13 points. He finished with a 10-rebound double-double and four assists.
After the buzzer sounded, Tanner ran to the stands to celebrate with the BoomSquad student section organization and Ruf-Neks spirit squad before high-fiving fans all the way to the locker room.
“For us it was just a huge win. It was good to get one back at home again,” Tanner said. “Couldn’t thank the student section (enough) and those that show out every single game… I just show love to those guys down in the BoomSquad and Ruf-Neks because win or lose, they’re cheering for us hard, so we gotta show love to them and give them all the credit they deserve.”
The Sooners posted one of their best defensive showings of Big 12 play, holding the Cowboys to 62 points. That also marks Oklahoma State’s worst offensive performance since it scored 62 at Kansas on Feb. 14.
“I thought our defense was really good until the last four minutes of regulation and overtime,” Moser said. “We were exhausted.”
OU’s defense dominated through multiple stretches of the game, holding OSU scoreless from 11:31 to 4:10 in the first half and from 13:55 to 8:38 in the second half. Perhaps the most important stretch came in the final two minutes of overtime, when the stingy defense forced Oklahoma State to miss two layups and 3-pointers.
The Sooners racked up 10 steals and a block while forcing 16 Cowboys turnovers. Oklahoma State shot only 22-for-58 from the field.
Oklahoma was without freshman guard C.J. Noland in its Bedlam victory. The Waxahachie, Texas, native missed the two practices leading into Saturday’s contest due to a “tweaked knee,” per Moser.
Without Noland, the Sooners leaned on senior guard Marvin Johnson for depth off the bench. Noland previously missed the second half of OU’s 67-64 loss to Kansas on Jan. 18 and its 65-51 loss to Baylor on Jan. 22 while in the concussion protocol.
On the season, Noland averages 12.6 minutes per game and 4.2 points per game. He also shoots 41.9 percent from 3-point range, leading the Sooners.
“We’re really fortunate that (Noland’s injury) isn’t more serious,” Moser said. “Hopefully we get C.J. back.”
Oklahoma was nowhere to be found in ESPN’s Friday bracketology update.
That hasn’t phased Moser. The first-year OU head coach is determined to push his team to a NCAA tournament spot and will let nothing deter him from that goal.
“It was huge. We needed this,” Moser said. “We needed to put a win in the bank. And we have two other opportunities and then the Big 12 tournament to have some more opportunities. Can’t count us out. They showed a lot of fight and a lot of heart today.”
The Sooners win provides a small boost as they strive to reenter the tournament bubble fray, but it’s only the first step that Moser’s squad will have to take to get there. The next comes when Oklahoma takes on West Virginia (14-14, 3-12) at 6 p.m. on March 1 in Norman for its home finale.
As the OU celebration poured across the court to the student section after the buzzer, CBS play-by-play commentator Tom McCarthy summed up Moser’s hope for March.
“There is a little basketball life left in Norman.”