Breaking News

Postgame news and quotes from Oklahoma’s 91-90 double OT win over No. 14 West Virginia

Well, that one was fun.

No. 12 Oklahoma won an absolute thriller on Saturday knocking off No. 14 West Virginia 91-90 in double overtime. The game was close throughout until the Sooners pushed their lead up to nine points with just over six minutes to go. At that point, it looked like they were in a position to pull away.

But, the ever-gritty Mountaineers battled back to tie the game just a few minutes later and thus begin an incredible stretch of basketball that saw two good teams duke it out to the very end. The win for Oklahoma certainly marks one of their best of the entire season.

“I’m so happy for the guys,” Lon Kruger said postgame. “West Virginia’s been playing great, they’ve been playing with super confidence to go on the road and win ballgames, they’ve been terrific. So for our guys to prepare the way they did this week, I thought they were great in preparation. You know we had a full week there and they worked at it and were focused. Yeah, just happy for the guys and proud of their effort.”

Tremendous in the road win was Austin Reaves who went for 28 points including the shot that put the Sooners ahead with 26 seconds remaining. His efforts were enormous in the road victory.

“He was outstanding,” Kruger said of Reaves. “Big time plays at critical times in the ballgame. We were kind of trading leads there in that last overtime and Austin was terrific. Making plays off the dribble, getting to the free throw line, driving and kicking for others, got a couple of big rebounds. Huge game for Austin.”

Reaves continues to play exceptionally well on the road. As the leader of the team, his teammates often turn to him in hostile environments when they need a big play and he has obliged often. They needed him to pick up this huge win on Saturday and he delivered, highlighted by the game-winning bucket late.

“It felt good, but there was still time on the clock and we had to get a stop,” Reaves said of his big shot. “We didn’t rebound the ball particularly well down the stretch, so that’s something we can work on, but I was excited to get the bucket. But the game wasn’t over, so we kept fighting.”

The win was Oklahoma’s fifth of the year against a ranked opponent and yet another one that went down to the final moments. This team continues to show an ability to handle late-game situations and excel in pressure moments, a trait that is going to be wildly useful in the NCAA Tournament later on.

“I’ve played a lot of games here, and this team definitely has got a lot of fight,” Brady Manek said. “Got a lot of guys ready to compete. We got to work more on our rebounds, blocking out, kind of got away from us there a couple of possessions or we could have won it in the first overtime or regulation. But we’re tough. We’ve got a lot of guys that are ready to step up.”

Reaves’ shot to put the Sooners in the lead was obviously the offensive play of the game for Oklahoma, but the defensive play of the day came from Kur Kuath who picked up a huge block in the final seconds to keep Oklahoma in the lead.

After having his minutes greatly reduced in recent games, only playing nine in this game despite the two extra periods, for Kuath to come right in and make one of the biggest plays of the season can’t be overlooked. He certainly deserves substantial credit for staying ready for his opportunity.

“Kur is a good rim protector,” Kruger said. “He’s been practicing hard, doing a good job. Brady is getting the bulk of the minutes right now but Kur, a big time play there to protect the rim at a critical time in the game.”

The Sooners won’t get much time to relax, as the ever-tough Big 12 slate rolls on with No. 13 Texas set to come to Norman on Tuesday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *