Umoja Gibson scored 30 points, including a season-high eight 3-pointers, led Oklahoma past Texas Tech, 70-55, in a huge victory for the Sooners on Wednesday night.
The Sooners (14-10, 4-7) won their first game over an AP Top 10 opponent this season. Before Wednesday, the Sooners had lost to four Top 10 teams. The No. 9 Red Raiders (18-6, 7-4) saw Bryson Williams score just five points. He took only seven shots as the Sooners double-teamed him at every opportunity.
Entering the game, the two teams were truly heading in opposite directions. The Sooners had lost their last three game, and lost seven of their last eight, after a 2-1 start to Big 12 play. The Red Raiders, meanwhile, had won three straight and five of their last six, with the double-overtime loss to Kansas the only interruption.
While Texas Tech entered the game comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field, according to ESPN Bracketology, the Sooners were fighting to remain in the field. Joe Lunardi considered the Sooners one of his ‘Last Four Teams In’ going into the contest. So, the victory could help the Sooners off the bubble.
Gibson shot 9-of-14 from the floor, and 8-of-11 from the 3-point line. He was coming off his worst game of the season, as he scored just two points and didn’t make a field goal in the Sooners’ loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday. As cold as he was against the Cowboys, he was red-hot against the Red Raiders.
The Sooners needed it, as Tanner Groves, their leading scorer, was in foul trouble most of the night and scored only two points. Elijah Harkless scored 13 points and Jordan Goldwire added 10 points.
With Williams struggling, the Red Raiders leaned on Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon Jr. McCullar scored 12 points and the Shannon scored 11. But, the Red Raiders shot 40 percent and were outscored by 20 points in the second half.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.