NORMAN — Oklahoma hadn't needed to make many last-minute, much less last-second plays this season.
Tuesday night against UT Arlington, with the game on the line, the Sooner defense wasn't exactly stellar, but OU got the break and came out with a 91-89 win in front of an estimated 3,105 at Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners had seemingly taken control of the game on two different occasions only to have Oklahoma State transfer Reger Dowell and the rest of the Mavericks claw their way back in.
But it wasn't Dowell who got the last shot.
UTA forward Brandon Edwards shook free on an inbounds with 2.1 seconds left, then stepped in and took an open 18-foot jumper at the buzzer that went in and out to give the Sooners the win and stretch their record to 10-1.
But Oklahoma would've much rather had Edwards shooting that shot than Dowell shooting for a chance to win it.
After Cameron Clark hit a pair of free throws with less than 10 seconds left to put the Sooners back on top, the Mavs got the ball to Dowell.
But Sooner defenders surrounded him near the 3-point line, leaving UTA no choice but to call a timeout.
“There's good opportunities for us to work on some things,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “We haven't been in those situations a lot — not that we want to be in those situations — but I thought our guys handled both the defensive end and the offensive end there late.”
The Sooners' only other game that went down to the wire was the 86-85 comeback win over Seton Hall on Nov. 22.
Clark had 31 points Tuesday, hitting five 3-pointers while Buddy Hield added 19 and Ryan Spangler 16. Freshman point guard Jordan Woodard had 12 assists with just one turnover.
Dowell had 30 points, hitting five 3-pointers, for the Mavs (4-7).
“We just can't rely on our scoring all the time,” Hield said. “As leaders, Cam and I need to do a better job of getting our guys to slide our feet.
“We need to start being more aggressive and stop being tentative on defense.”
The Sooners led by 13 less than six minutes into the game and seemed poised for a blowout before Woodard left the game briefly and UTA ripped off 14 consecutive points to take the lead.
OU was up by 14 around the midpoint of the second half before the Mavericks once again came back, tying it on Edward's free throws with 41 seconds left.