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December 18, 2013

OU narrowly escapes UT-Arlington

NORMAN — The exhaustion Oklahoma was feeling Tuesday night was obvious. It was clinging to a two-point lead when it huddled for the last time with two seconds to go against Texas-Arlington.

OU just needed one more stop to scratch out a victory. It didn’t really get the stop. The Mavericks’ Brandon Edwards had an uncontested 18-footer at the buzzer that rimmed out. The Sooners didn’t celebrate as much as they breathed a sigh of relief over the 91-89 victory at Lloyd Noble Center.

“We can’t rely on our scoring all the time,” OU guard Buddy Hield said.

That was the only thing the Sooners really had going for them. They’ve allowed 180 points in their last two games, dating to last Saturday’s win over Tulsa. Yet they’ve won both.

It was the kind of game OU senior forward Cameron Clark tends to thrive in. He scored 31 points and hit two free throws with 9 seconds remaining to put the Sooners over the top.

Clark, who played 36 minutes, has showed that kind of endurance throughout his career. The lanky forward just doesn’t seem to get tired.

“When we get out in transition, that’s when I excel,” Clark said. “My teammates did a good job of finding me … We were able to break their press and knock down shots.”

Hield, who scored 19 points and was 4 for 8 from 3-point range doesn’t seem to have a frenetic pace either.

Point guard Jordan Woodard, who also played a season-high 36 minutes, seemed like he could sleep for a week when OU left the floor.

There was no choice but to ride Woodard as long as the Sooners could. Without him on the floor, things got sloppy in a hurry. He checked out of the game a little over 7 minutes in with OU leading by 10. After three quick turnovers (two by Isaiah Cousins and one by Frank Booker) led the transition baskets for the Mavericks and the lead being chopped down to one point, the break was over.

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