Oklahoma (14-8, 4-5 Big 12) came up short, 69-61, in its road matchup with last season’s NCAA tournament runner-up, Texas Tech (14-8, 5-4 Big 12), on Tuesday.
This was the first meeting between the Sooners and Red Raiders this season — Tech took both meetings last season. This game had 11 lead changes in the second half alone, leading into a thrilling final final few minutes which saw Texas Tech walk away with the win.
Here are three takeaways from the Sooners’ loss:
Sooners start in sync
The Sooners have suffered from more than a few slow starts this season — this time around, they did not. Their hot hand from their Bedlam victory appeared to have followed them early on in the game — the highlight alley-oop play from junior guard Austin Reaves to junior forward Kur Kuath was a testament to that.
Austin Reaves with the alley. Kur Kuath the oop. pic.twitter.com/M8ii9kLw4w— OUHoops (@ouhoops) February 5, 2020
Oklahoma finished the first half shooting 48 percent from the field as they entered halftime leading the Red Raiders 31-30. However, despite their solid shooting percent overall in half one, the Sooners’ biggest issues revolved around the 3-point line.
Oklahoma shot 2-10 from behind the arc in the first half, while the Sooner defense surrendered six made 3s to Texas Tech in the process. The Red Raiders entered halftime shooting 40 percent from the field and were out-rebounding the Sooners, 16-13.
Bieniemy starting to find his shot
Sophomore guard Jamal Bieniemy has had a lot of trouble finding his shooting stride this season — he appeared to have finally found that during this game.
He finished with nine points against Texas Tech, the third most on his team. He shot 44 percent from the field and was 1-5 from the 3. On top of that, he also tallied 3 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist for the Sooners.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma, Bieniemy's performance, along with the rest of starting lineups', just wasn't enough to knock off the Red Raiders. Junior forward Brady Manek led Oklahoma in scoring with 19 points on the night, he was 8-14 from the field. Reaves finished with 16 points and was 3-7 from deep. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle scored eight points and tallied 11 rebounds.
Poor paint performance plagues OU
Despite outscoring the Red Raiders 24-20 down low, Oklahoma had trouble on the boards all night — the Sooners didn’t get their first offensive rebound until the second half.
The Sooners finished with 25 rebounds to the Red Raiders’ 32. The Tech defense blocked three of Oklahoma's shots. Texas Tech was led by senior forward TJ Holyfield in scoring and on the glass, he finished with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Three other Red Raiders had more than four boards as Texas Tech outlasted Oklahoma.
Oklahoma ended the night shooting 45 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3. They had 10 turnovers on the night.
Next up, the Sooners return home to face West Virginia at 2 p.m. CT on Feb. 8 in Norman.