Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Basketball Made History On Saturday| The Shot, The Comments, & The Consequences

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

“It’s over!”

That’s what Austin Reaves said as he looked directly into a camera following his game-winning shot on Saturday. The Sooners had just completed the greatest comeback win in Big 12, keeping NCAA Tournament hopes alive, history and Reaves nearly single-handedly led the charge.

The redshirt junior scored 41 of Oklahoma’s 78 points and was the spark plug to OU’s furious charge over the final eight minutes of the game. During that span the Sooners scored 32 points and sank six of its eight three-point attempts.

Reaves, who had a rare 4-point play with 1:32 left in the game, scored 15 of OU’s final 23 points, including that clutch go ahead shot with half a second left.

“Give Reaves credit, he made shots, he made plays, he got to the foul line over and over again,”

TCU head coach jamie dixon

“It still came back to Austin in the end,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said. “All the plays he made.”

Reaves’ 41 points are the most scored by a player from the Big 12 this season and were absolutely necessary in every way imaginable to propel the Sooners to the largest second half comeback, on the road, in Big 12 history.

“He put us on his back today,” senior forward Kristian Doolittle said. “We needed all 41 of those points.”

As a team, the Sooners shot 12.5% percent from 3-point range in the first half, resulting in an 18-deficit at the break. Reaves was responsible for 15 of Oklahoma’s 26 first half points and then 26 of OU’s 52 second half points. That’s why it was his number called for the final possession.

For him (Coach Kruger) to have the confidence in me, as well as the players, that just shows a lot to me, so I just had the confidence to make the shot.

austin reaves

Surviving TCU put the Sooners as the number three seed in the conference tournament. Oklahoma is tasked with beating West Virginia for a third time this season in order to make it to Friday’s semifinal round.

Regardless of what happens in Kansas City on Thursday night, OU is a lock for the NCAA Tournament now. Picked in the preseason to finish 8th in the conference, Oklahoma (19-12, 9-9) moved from the bottom side of the bubble to a guaranteed in on their historic night in Fort Worth.

“…very relieving,” Doolittle said postgame. “Finishing the season on a strong note, we gotta see how the rankings shake out and see what position we’re in and go from there.”

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