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01/22/2013 12:50 AM EST
Sooners end rivalry skid, beat Texas 73-67
OKLAHOMA 73, TEXAS 67

By JEFF LATZKE
AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Too many times, Romero Osby had been a part
of Red River Rivalry games that didn't turn out the way he
wanted.



With victory nearly in his grasp, he told teammate Sam Grooms
during a late-game huddle: "We finally got these guys." And no
one played a bigger role.



Osby scored a career-high 29 points, Amath M'Baye had three
rim-rattling dunks among his 15 points and Oklahoma snapped a
six-game losing streak in the rivalry by beating Texas 73-67 on
Monday night.



Osby scored 21 of Oklahoma's 33 points during a 14 1/2-minute
chunk in the middle of the game, powering the Sooners (13-4, 4-1
Big 12) to their first win against the Longhorns since he
transferred from Mississippi State. Texas had swept both
meetings last season and all three in 2011 while Osby was
sitting out under NCAA transfer guidelines.



Off to its worst start to conference play since 1976, Texas
(8-10, 0-5) had no answer for Osby after top rebounder Jonathan
Holmes left with a broken bone in his right hand with just under
7 minutes left in the first half. Osby checked back into the
game about 3 minutes later and took over.



"I attacked them once and I got an easy bucket, so I just
started trying to be more aggressive," Osby said. "Just from
then on, I just tried to be aggressive."



Osby went 9 for 15 from the field, 10 for 11 from the foul line
and also chipped in eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.



"We really believe that Osby is one of best players in the
league," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We told our team that
this is a guy that we think can score in a lot of different way.
We just love the way he plays. He just plays within himself."



The Longhorns' game plan had been to try and attack Osby and
M'Baye on the offensive end, perhaps getting them in foul
trouble or at least wearing them down. That formula never really
got put into action, and it went down the drain after Holmes
headed to the locker room with a bag of ice on his hand.



But Barnes aimed most of his criticism at his guards for not
getting the ball to the Longhorns' post players when they were
open.



"Our guards have got to understand we've got to get to the foul
line. We've got to put the fouls on other people," Barnes said.
"We can't let especially a team that relies on their post
players to score, to not have to guard."



Texas tried to mount a furious rally from an 11-point deficit in
the final 1:42, after Oklahoma's student section started a "Just
like football" chant to rub in an apparent victory - to go with
three straight on the gridiron.



Ioannis Papapetrou hit back-to-back 3-pointers - the first one
completing a four-point possession after Jaylen Bond split a
pair of foul shots - to get the Longhorns within 69-65 with 1:01
remaining. Sheldon McClellan then missed a 3-pointer that would
have made it a one-possession game, and Osby hit a pair of free
throws with 42 seconds left to cool the comeback down.



McClellan led the Longhorns with 25 points after coming off the
bench for the fourth straight game. Barnes called it "one of the
best games he's played just because of the way he was engaged
mentally."



It still wasn't enough to keep Texas from losing its first five
league games since doing it in back-to-back seasons in the
Southwest Conference in 1975 and 1976 under coach Leon Black.
Barnes' Longhorns had won their Big 12 opener in each of his
first 12 seasons before starting out with a single loss last
season.



It keeps getting worse this season with a youthful roster with
no upperclassmen in the rotation, and with point guard Myck
Kabongo suspended by the NCAA until mid-February.



Oklahoma, meanwhile, is off to a promising start with increasing
NCAA tournament hopes.



Osby had the final nine points in an 11-2 run that put Oklahoma
up 30-26 at halftime, and the Sooners started to create some
distance with a string of seven straight points soon after
halftime. M'Baye beat the shot-clock buzzer with a reverse layup
and Buddy Hield blocked Demarcus Holland's jumper at the other
end before lobbing to M'Baye for a two-handed slam.



Osby followed that by pulling up at the left wing for only his
third 3-pointer of the season to extend the lead to 48-36 with
12:25 to play.



"That's not really my role on this team. We have a lot of
shooters," said Osby, now 3 for 5 from 3-point range this
season. "If it comes in the flow of our offense, then I'll shoot
it. But if not, then I'm not worried about making 3s."



Barnes had trouble quantifying how much of a difference it made
when Holmes went out, but pointed out that he was Texas' best
player with the most experience.



"That's why you have a team," Barnes said. "One thing's for
certain now, those young guys going to get a lot of experience.
We need them to play, we need them to develop. But it still goes
back to we've got to have better guard play to help those post
players."

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