NORMAN — Two days ago, the scowl on Romero Osby’s face would’ve terrified a pack of angry wolves. It was a replaced by a smile bright enough to light a building.
The change in expression came seconds after Oklahoma completed a 73-67 victory over Texas Monday night at Lloyd Noble Center. It was a night where Osby put the Sooners (13-4, 4-1 Big 12) on his broad shoulders and carried them to their first ESPN “Big Monday” victory in three years.
Against the Longhorns, he was the biggest bull in the pasture, scoring a career-high 29 points and grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.
“It was a testament to my teammates and coach running stuff for me,” Osby said. “My teammates were finding me and giving me the ball. I didn’t have to do much with it, other than make one move.”
Osby was coming off a 12-point performance in the Sooners’ loss to Kansas State on Saturday. Osby, who’s led his team in
scoring all season, was uncharacteristically lethargic against the Wildcats. Against Texas, he was pretty close to unstoppable. The 29-point effort came on 9-for-15 shooting and a 10-for-11 effort from the free-throw line. He even sank a 3-pointer — Osby’s third of the season — to give OU a 48-36 lead with 12:26 to go.
It was the nightmare scenario for the Longhorns.
“We really believe that Osby is one of the best players in the league. This is a guy who can score in a lot of different ways, and we love the way he plays,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said.
It took a while for Osby and anyone else to settle into the game. With four minutes to go in the first half, he only had five points. It was during that opening 16 minutes that OU and Texas were playing one of the sloppiest games in the history of the Red River Rivalry. They combined for 21 first-half turnovers.