by Michael Baldwin Published: January 18, 2012

I hadn't seen a triangle-and-2 (defense) since I was 11 years old, so it was very frustrating.”

The Sooners finally built a three-possession lead when Romero Osby scored on a layup, Sam Grooms drained a midrange jumper and Pledger hit two free throws to push the lead to 54-47 with 2:21 left.

OU protected the lead by shooting 81 percent at the line. The Sooners hit 10 free throws the final three minutes.

“We let them hang around but (Tech coach) Billy Gillispie's teams will always play hard,” Osby said. “Our shots weren't falling. We kind of got caught up in that but we picked it up at the end when we needed to.”

The Sooners might not have escaped with a win if the opponent was any Big 12 team other than Texas Tech, which is winless in league play.

“This just shows we have to find different ways to win,” Pledger said. “Neither team was hitting shots. ... We have to be able to stop everybody on defense, keep our man in front of us and rebound. Things like that will definitely get us wins in conference.”

The Sooners, 12-5 overall, 2-3 in league play, had four players in double figures, led by Pledger (17 points) and Osby (15).

But the key to escaping with a win was OU's defense helped protect a 29-22 halftime lead on a night both teams struggled to score.

“Overall, a good effort,” Kruger said. “We have to shoot better and execute some things better. I liked the energy and the enthusiasm. We just have to keep growing. ... To win and learn is good. In this league wins are tough to come by so we're thrilled with any win we get.”


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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