HOUSTON – Oklahoma found itself in an unexpected scrape with Rice on Monday night, bullied at times and even bloodied. Fortunately for the No. 4-ranked Sooners, they found some fight, rallying for a 70-58 men’s basketball win to remain unbeaten. Blake Griffin, his right cheekbone scarred and scabbing from a bloody gash, returned from two visits to the acting cut man — long-time trainer Alex Brown — with a renewed cause, asserting himself inside to finish with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Willie Warren scored 14 of his career-high 31 points in the final 7:31 to lift the Sooners out of a funk and to 12-0 on the season. "Give credit to Rice, I thought they played really hard,” said OU coach Jeff Capel. "But for us, it’s a good win. This is our first road game at someone else’s place. We’ve played at neutral sites. The way we responded down the stretch, I’m real proud of that.” OU matched the program’s best starts of the past 20 seasons, tying the 12-0 beginnings of the 1989-90 and 1918-19 squads. Only three teams in Sooner history have posted better starts – 14-0 in ’88-89, 17-0 in ’85-86 and 18-0 in ’27-28. After a week off, OU returns to action Dec. 30, going on the road again to play at Arkansas. Rice, which won just three games a year ago, entered the game at 4-6, yet built momentum with the Sooners struggling. OU matched a season-high with 17 turnovers and missed half its free throws, finishing 17-of-34 from the line. The Sooners trailed 42-41 with 11:38 to play and was tied at 46-46 with 7:44 remaining, before surging to the finish. Griffin and Warren took over, combining for 21 of OU’s final 26 points. The Sooners scored points on 14 of their last 15 possessions.