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OU men's basketball: Kristian Doolittle's senior night turns from celebration to disaster in Sooners 52-51 loss to Texas

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Kristian Doolittle

Senior forward Kristian Doolittle during the game against Texas on Mar. 3.

In the final seconds, senior forward Kristian Doolittle's senior night went from a celebration to a disaster.

With 19 seconds remaining in the game, Texas junior guard Matt Coleman missed a jumper that would've tied the game at 51. Doolittle pulled down the defensive rebound and was fouled. The crowd of 7,597 cheered as Doolittle, the lone senior on Oklahoma's squad went to the line with a chance to put his team up 53-49, which would all but guarantee the victory.

Then, the unthinkable happened. The crowd got quiet as the senior forward, who is 80 percent from the free throw line, missed his first attempt of two. Doolittle's second free throw rimmed out and the Longhorn's pushed the ball down the court, finding Coleman for a contested 3-pointer that found the bottom of the net with less than a second remaining on the clock.

The Lloyd Noble Center was in shock as the Longhorns snuck out of Norman with a 52-51 win over their archrivals.

"There was nothing I can say in the locker room that makes them feel any better," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "I was proud of their fight ... proud of their effort."

The Longhorns led for the majority of the game but the Sooners were able to take their first lead of the second half with 3:44 remaining in the game. In a game that featured 10 lead changes and 11 ties, the Longhorns ended up on top.

"They fought their tails off to get the lead and get in position there late and it just didn't go our way," Kruger said.

With a win, the Sooners would have completed their first regular season sweep over Texas since 2015 and would've been in good position to finish No. 3 in the Big 12 standings. Instead, it was the Longhorns who were victorious, and the Sooners were left with another disappointing loss in a season that's been filled with ups and downs. 

Doolittle was the Sooners' leading scorer in the game with 20 points on 6-14 shooting and was able to secure the ninth double double of his career with a team-high 10 rebounds. 

Kruger says he feels for Doolittle after playing a very good game up until his missed free throws.

"It's really tough, really tough," Kruger said. "When you've been in competition you know how disappointing that is and you can't change it. He'll have that memory for a long time and he'll work through it. Teammates will help him and we'll be better on Saturday."

It's safe to assume that the Sooners wouldn't have been in the position they were in without the help of Doolittle, the Edmond-native. Outside of the duo of redshirt junior guard Austin Reaves and Doolittle, the rest of the Sooners knocked down just four shots on 28 attempts.

"We really didn't make shots," Reaves said. "We got good looks, I thought really in the first half Brady got a couple good ones and they just didn't fall for him. Those are shots you live with and if some of those go down, I think the whole game's changed. It is what it is we'll just move on to the next one."

ESPN's Joe Lunardi projects the Sooners as a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament, so the team still has a lot left to fight for. Kruger emphasized the importance of moving on from tough losses like this one and always looking forward to the next game.

The Sooners will wrap up the regular season with a match at TCU on Saturday, March 7. 

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