Austin Reaves scored 18 points in the second half as the Sooners turned a 61-54 deficit, with 3:45 remaining, into a 66-61 win over Kansas State to open up Big 12 play.
Reaves provided half of the points for Oklahoma’s 12-0 run to close out the game. He also grabbed a rebound, made a steal, and dished out an assist as the Sooners closed out the game in a flurry of momentum.
Reaves ended the game with 21 points and six boards. Senior Kristian Doolittle joined Reaves as the only other Oklahoma player to score in double figures. He scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to produce his fourth double-double of the season.
It’s worth noting that for the second game in a row the Sooners out rebounded their opponent. Oklahoma beat Kansas State on the boards 42-37. The Sooners shot 37.3% from the floor and 21.7% three-point range in a game that they had to win.
It’s hard to describe the first game of conference play as a must win but that’s exactly what it was for the Sooners. Oklahoma’s next two games are on the road at Texas and Iowa State before returning to Norman to face Kansas on January 14th. Starting that stretch in an 0-1 hole could have spelled doom for OU’s NCAA Tournament hopes.
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