NORMAN — Cam Clark sensed something was wrong before Wednesday's basketball game against Texas Tech.
“I felt like we weren't ready to play,” Clark said. “We've just got to get back to playing like we used to. We can't take games for granted.”
After Oklahoma proved Clark right in a 68-60 loss at Lloyd Noble Center, Ryan Spangler vowed to help fix the Sooners' problems.
“I don't think I performed like I usually do,” Spangler said after his five-point, four-rebound performance, less than half of his season averages. “I'll take the blame for that. I wasn't hustling for rebounds like I usually do, wasn't playing defense — being a leader on defense — like I usually do. We're just going to keep getting better, working on that.
“I need to become a better leader, and this game will show me how much that means to our team and I'll work on that.”
In the thick of the Big 12 race just two weeks ago, the Sooners have dropped three of their last four to fall into a fourth-place tie. OU (18-7 overall, 7-5 Big 12) is three games behind Kansas in the loss column.
“We lost a couple tough ballgames on the road,” OU coach Lon Kruger said of the losses at Iowa State and West Virginia that started the slide. “In the Big 12, you've got to fight like crazy. Both games went down to the last possession. I'd like to have snuck one or two of those out, but nothing can change that.
“Just clearly didn't play like we need to tonight. The other two were losses that we would've liked to have changed but didn't think we played differently in those. We did tonight.”
Clark started off hot for his second consecutive game, hitting all four of his first-half shots, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Nobody else on the Sooners could do much offensively, however.
Outside of Clark, Oklahoma was just 3 of 21 (14.3 percent) from the field and just 1 of 12 from behind the 3-point line in the first half as Texas Tech (13-11, 5-6 Big 12) built a 16-point halftime lead.
Just a game earlier, during a win over Baylor, the Sooners hit 11 first-half 3-pointers.
“That's a big part of their attack and their game,” Red Raiders coach Tubby Smith said. “We did a good job on Jordan (Woodard) in the first half, limiting and taking away some of their threes.”
Tech also put plenty of defensive pressure on in the backcourt, forcing 11 first-half turnovers and turned them into 10 points.
Clark finished with 16 points to lead the Sooners. Robert Turner had 16 for the Red Raiders.
The Sooners trailed by 20 early in the second half before shots finally started to fall.
Oklahoma reeled off a 21-4 run — thanks to three quick 3-pointers to start the stretch — to cut the Red Raiders' lead to 51-48.
But Texas Tech was 8 of 12 from the free-throw line and 4 of 5 from the field in the final seven minutes to close it out.
Oklahoma, tops in the Big 12 from the free-throw line, was just 6 of 12 from the line.