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Sooners rally, up record to 12-0

BY JOHN HELSLEY Modified: December 23, 2008 at 8:51 am •  Published: December 23, 2008
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.


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