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OU basketball: Sooners upset No. 14 Florida 74-67 behind 20-point performance by Tanner Groves

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Tanner Groves

Senior forward Tanner Groves dunks during the game against Northwestern State on Nov. 9.

Oklahoma (7-1) stunned No. 14 Florida (6-1) 74-67 on Wednesday night in Norman, handing the Gators their first loss of the season.

Seniors Umoja Gibson and Tanner Groves led the way for the Sooners. Groves had 20 points with eight rebounds and a block. Gibson scored 15 with four rebounds and zero turnovers.

Additionally, junior Jalen Hill finished with 18 points and four rebounds, 12 of which came in the second half. He had nine of OU’s last 11 points.

The Sooners struggled in previous games with getting out to slow starts. That was far from the case against the Gators — OU opened the game on a 9-0 run. 

Florida’s full court press helped them slowly get back in the game over the course of the first half and it only trailed 37-36 at halftime. Oklahoma’s five starters combined for 35 of its 37 first half points. Groves and Gibson had ten each, Jordan Goldwire and Hill had six each. 

The game stayed close throughout the second half. Groves and Gibson had seven and five, respectively, in the first 10 minutes of the half. The largest lead either team had in the second half was six until Groves hit a 3 to put OU up by seven with 5:47 left. After Gibson got a steal, Hill threw down an emphatic slam to force a Florida timeout.

Oklahoma’s defense held UF without a field goal from 11:38 to 3:30 in the second half. With 3:30 left though, Florida started an 8-0 run to draw within two with just under two minutes to play. After the Gators drew within one possession, Hill hit a critical and-one layup to give OU a 72-67 lead. He would hit two more free throws to ice the game and give Oklahoma its biggest victory of the season.

Next, the Sooners will take on Butler at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 in Norman for the Big 12-Big East Battle.

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