ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma forward Romero Osby figured Texas-Arlington fans would come out in bunches Friday night for the Mavericks’ home opener against the Sooners.
But that thought didn’t truly sink in until he and his teammates arrived at College Park Center amid the school’s homecoming festivities.
“I knew it was probably going to be packed,” Osby said. “But when I saw the parade outside, I said, ‘Man, we’re going to be in for it.”’
The Sooners nearly were in for an upset.
Buddy Hield scored 17 points and Osby grabbed 11 rebounds as Oklahoma escaped with a 63-59 win over Texas-Arlington.
Hield scored all 17 points in the first half, when the Sooners (2-0) put together a 24-3 run en route to a 38-28 halftime lead.
“Buddy was fantastic there in the first half,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “He came in when we were down eight or 10 and scored about every way you can.”
The Sooners extended their lead to 17 points with 15:13 left in the game, but the Mavericks (1-1) rallied to tie the game at 57-all on a Jordan Reves jumper with 2:46 left.
Steven Pledger made a 3-pointer on the Sooners’ next possession to retake the lead, and Oklahoma hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal the win.
“When (Pledger) caught it, I saw he kind of put his head down a little bit so I tried to get in rebounding position, because I knew it was going up,” said Osby, who also scored 10 points. “But when it went in, that’s something you kind of expect from him to make big shots.”
Kevin Butler led Texas-Arlington with 16 points and Karol Gruszecki had 15. Reves had 10 rebounds for the Mavericks.
“I was proud of our guys,” Texas-Arlington coach Scott Cross said. “I don’t have that sick feeling in my heart, because I felt like they battled 40 minutes.”