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February 17, 2013

It takes overtime for Pokes to clip Sooners in Stillwater

STILLWATER —  Bedlam produced everything Oklahoma could have possibly wanted except what it coveted most — a win over Oklahoma State.

That dwindled away in the final minutes of overtime in an 84-79 loss to the 17th-ranked Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena. It was truly a game OU let slip away.

“Tough loss for sure,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “But it was a really good basketball game. Guys on both teams played their hearts out. It was a big-time battle from start to finish. Guys on both teams made a lot of big-time plays. Defenses were having a tough time getting stops.”

Both did, but the Cowboys got the one they had to have with 41 seconds left. OU point guard Sam Grooms, who came off the bench to play the best game of his career, was stripped by OSU’s Markel Brown for a steal at midcourt. Michael Cobbins scooped up the ball and turned it into a layup and an 82-79 lead.

OU never got off another shot.

“As far as the last couple plays, I don’t think there’s any way to explain it,” said Grooms, who scored a career-high 18 points and handed out game-high four assists. “I just lost the basketball, turned it over. I’ll remember that.”

That’s where the Sooners’ heartache came. For 43 minutes, the Sooners (16-8, 7-5 Big 12) answered every OSU (19-5, 9-3) run.

Romero Osby joined Grooms in scoring 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. The senior forward was a freight train in the second half, scoring the Sooners’ final 10 points in regulation.

If OU could have gotten him a clean look on its last offensive possession, it might have been able to celebrate a win on the Cowboys’ floor for the first time since 2009.

Kruger called two timeouts during the Sooners’ last second-half possession to set up a play for Osby. They were finally able to get him the ball with four seconds left on the shot clock. Osby’s running jumper missed the iron.

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