Men's basketball: Osby's surge pushes Sooners past Texas Tech
Senior forward Romero Osby put together a monster second half in the OU men’s basketball team’s 81-63 victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center.
After only recording two points and one rebound in the first period, Osby came alive after halftime to end up with 17 points and six rebounds.
“Coach and my teammates just did a good job of running stuff for me,” Osby said. “I was just trying to post [the Texas Tech players] up real deep so that they wouldn’t have time to double team me.”
Coach Lon Kruger made it a point to include Osby as much as possible in the second half, and that decision paid off.
“In the second half, Ro came out with good energy,” Kruger said. “He did a good job of getting position a little bit more physically and finishing opportunities when he had them.”
While Osby had a big day, he wasn’t the only Sooner who played well.
Five players scored ten or more points for OU: Osby, senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald, senior guard Steven Pledger, junior forward Cameron Clark and freshman guard Buddy Hield.
“We moved the ball well, and different guys stepped up,” Kruger said. “Scoring has been a trademark of this group up to this point, and that’s great. We moved the ball well, and we need to continue that.”
The Sooners turned up the intensity and became more effective after the half, but the first period was a battle that saw OU shoot 39 percent and Texas Tech shoot 41 percent.
The game may have gotten away from the Sooners if it weren’t for the calming hands of the team’s upperclassmen, particularly Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald finished the game with 12 points and four rebounds, but did almost all of his damage in the first half with the game tight.
“My coaches and my teammates always want to build my confidence up,” Fitzgerald said. “The last couple of games, I’ve kind of been in a slump. I guess today I wasn’t trying to score.
“I was just trying to rebound and play on the defensive end and whatever happens, happens.”
Another integral part of the offense was Hield, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Hield has been one of the top scorers for the team for the past few games, and he showed off his offensive talents in one memorable sequence during second half.
He buried a three-pointer and then stole the inbound pass and hit a quick layup that appeared to kill any momentum that Texas Tech might have been feeling.
The Red Raiders weren’t able to put much of anything together after halftime, despite junior forward Dejan Kravic going off for 20 points and nine rebounds.
OU fended off Texas Tech’s bruising frontcourt and now look forward to a big matchup with No. 16 Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan.