When it got to crunch time Saturday, with the game in overtime and begging for someone to make a decisive play, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart each produced turning points on the defensive end.
First, with the Cowboys owning an 80-79 lead, Brown stripped OU's Sam Grooms for a steal, leading to a Michael Cobbins layup that bumped the lead to three.
“It's all scouting report,” Brown said. “I knew he was going to try to get the ball back to his left hand, once he had it in his right hand. Once he put it in his left hand, I tried to make a steal for it, and he tried to hurry up and bring it back to his right.
“I don't think he thought I was going to do that, and he lost the handle and I was able to get it.”
On the Sooners' next possession, Steven Pledger was set up on the wing, in position for a potential tying shot. Pledger had already fired in three 3-pointers as part of his 18 points, but as he caught the ball and rose to fire his attempt, Smart managed to tie him up, forcing a jump ball with the possession arrow pointing OSU's way.
“I knew at the time they needed a 3,” Smart said. “And I knew once he got it, he wasn't giving the ball up, he was going to try to take it. I just timed it perfectly, went up with him and made sure I got ball and didn't foul him.
“He's a good player, he could have easily pump-faked me, got me in the air and drew a foul. But you know, it was all instinct. I waited for him to leave his feet, and I left when he did and timed it perfectly.”
PLEDGER PASSES GRIFFIN ON SCORING LIST
Pledger got off to a rough start against the Cowboys, going 1-for-6 on his first six attempts. Then he heated up, draining his next six.
The senior ended the game with 18 points, pushing him past Oklahoma great Blake Griffin on OU's all-time scoring list. Pledger's 1,283 points ranks him 18th.
GALLAGHER-IBA ROCKS AGAIN
Saturday's game featured the biggest — and rowdiest — crowd of the season at Gallagher-Iba Arena.