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OU men’s basketball: 3 takeaways from Oklahoma’s 78-76 win over TCU

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Austin Reaves

Redshirt junior guard Austin Reaves during the game against Texas on March 3.

Oklahoma (19-12, 9-9 Big 12) defeated TCU (16-15, 7-11 Big 12), 78-76, in its final game of the regular season on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

OU trailed by as much as 20 in the contest. The win, accompanied with a few shakeups from around the Big 12, moves the Sooners into the third seed in the Big 12 tournament.

Here are three takeaways from the Sooners’ win:

Sooners earn third seed in Big 12 Tournament

Coming into this game — due to Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech all losing on the Big 12’s final weekend of regular season play — the premise for OU’s Big 12 tournament seeding was simple but harsh. Win and receive the third seed, lose and receive the seventh seed.

Fortunately for the Sooners, they were able to avoid a second-straight seventh-place Big 12 finish and will now shift focus to taking on West Virginia in the quarter finals of the Big 12 tournament. 

In their two meetings this year, Oklahoma won both matchups against WVU. Most recently, the Sooners topped the then-ranked No. 20 Mountaineers, 73-62, in Morgantown, West Virginia on Feb. 29. West Virginia defeated No. 4 Baylor, 76-64, in its final game of the regular season.

Turnovers stifle Sooners

The Horned Frogs had no issue turning defense into offense early on.

TCU forced nine Oklahoma turnovers and was 7-11 from 3 in the first half. Oklahoma also struggled to find its shot in the first as the Sooners finished the half 10-28 from the field and only hit one 3-pointer. They entered halftime trailing 44-26. Redshirt junior guard Austin Reaves led the Sooners in the first half scoring with 16 points.

Reaves’ career-high lifts Sooners

Reaves finished the game with a career-high 41 points, topping his previous career-high of 24. 25 of his points came in the second half.

After junior forward Brady Manek both hit a 3 with under two minutes to play, Reaves knocked down an and-one 3-pointer to cut the Horned Frogs lead to 73-71.

Both teams the hit a few shots from the free throw line, but Manek — off a stellar assist from Reaves — hit another clutch 3 to tie the game at 76-all.

After forcing a TCU miss and calling a timeout with under 20 seconds left, Reaves capped-off his performance with an eventual game-winning jumper with .5 seconds left.

Tip-off for Oklahoma’s bout with West Virginia is set for an 8 p.m. start on March 12 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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