NORMAN — Amath M'Baye placed his hands on freshman Buddy Hield's neck as he spoke to him, trying to shield Hield from the view of opposing players jumping around on their home court.
Oklahoma senior Romero Osby stood just to the left of his teammates with his arms bent and his hands on his head as they watched the Stephen F. Austin players celebrate.
With 3.9 seconds left Tuesday night, Hield, the freshman from the Bahamas, stood at the free-throw line to take a pair of shots that could have tied the game. He made the first, and hit the rim with the second. The Lumberjacks came down with the rebound and the victory over the Sooners, 56-55, at Lloyd Noble Center.
“We can't be pleased with the result,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “We recognize a lot of areas we have to do a much better job with on the floor.”
Trailing 47-38 midway through the second half, the Sooners began to work their way back with a couple of baskets by Osby. With 7:38 remaining, freshman Je'lon Hornbeak hit his second 3-pointer of the night to get the crowd back on its feet with the Sooners trailing 51-45.
The next two possessions, Pledger and senior Andrew Fitzgerald worked together, communicating and setting picks that finished with two Pledger scores.
Then Hornbeak hit his third 3-pointer at the top of the key. Oklahoma had gone on a 7-0 run and regained the lead, 52-51, but the Sooners didn't keep it for long as SFA's Thomas Walkup completed a three-point play to regain the lead.
On the next Oklahoma possession, Hield tried to regain control of the ball before it skipped out of bounds, and Stephen F. Austin answered with a basket.
With less than 10 seconds remaining, Hield drove to the basket. He put up a layup, got fouled and watched as the ball sat on the rim before deciding not to roll into the hoop.
“I thought it was an and-one,” Hield said after the game. “The basketball didn't bounce my way.