NORMAN — Cameron Clark had already played the hero once.
Twice was too much to ask.
With about 10 seconds left in overtime, Clark drove the lane for what could've been a game-tying jumper.
But the ball rolled off Clark's hands, Louisiana Tech's Isaiah Massey grabbed the rebound and converted his free throws after being fouled to help the Bulldogs escape with a 102-98 win before 5,260 fans at Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night. The Bulldogs snapped the Sooners' seven-game winning streak.
“It was a disappointing way to finish the nonconference portion in terms of not getting the result we wanted,” Sooners basketball coach Lon Kruger said. “We have got to work a lot harder defensively to keep the ball out of the net and the rebounds we did not get back. We have to make a lot of progress still.”
Clark bounced back from a season-low six points in OU's previous game with one of his best outings of the season.
He saved the dramatics for the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime with a blind corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Freshman Jordan Woodard had the first look at a chance to tie the game, missing a 3-pointer with about four seconds left.
Clark pulled down the rebound, sprinted to the corner, turned and heaved the ball toward the net as the buzzer sounded, sending it straight in and giving the Sooners new life.
Clark said it briefly flashed in his mind to put the shot right back up before he took off to get behind the 3-point line.
The Sooners (11-2) didn't lead in the final 7:30 of regulation and hadn't even been tied since just under seven minutes remained before Clark's desperation shot went in.
“It was definitely deflating to say the least,” Louisiana coach Michael White said. “I thought the game was over.
“As deflated as I was, I can't imagine how deflated our guys were. To regroup and play with the amount of mental toughness as they did in the extra period was really impressive.”
OU fell behind early in overtime before taking a four-point lead. But Louisiana Tech controlled things from there, finishing the game with a 10-3 stretch to win.
Although the Sooners had chances in the final minute of overtime, it was the stretches earlier in the game — a 16-3 Louisiana Tech run to end the first half and an 18-6 stretch late in the second half — that ultimately cost OU a chance at an eighth consecutive win.
“This is a big loss, but I think it'll be a great learning experience for us,” Clark said. “This loss can teach us a lot of things. We're just going to get back in the gym and work on things — like defense and just being tougher.”