Rapid Reaction: OU 65, Texas A&M 62

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
6:49
PM ET
Sam Grooms was beaming, Cameron Clark had a big smile as he headed up the tunnel and Romero Osby stood waiting for a post game interview with a satisfied look on his face.

It’s always good to get a win.

Oklahoma knocked off Texas A&M 65-62 on Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center in a game that didn’t mean much in the overall scheme of things. But the Sooners (15-15 overall, 5-13 in Big 12), who were locked in to face the Aggies (13-17, 4-14) again on Wednesday -- win or loss -- earned eighth place in the Big 12 with Saturday’s win.

It was also the Sooners second straight home victory.

OU executed down the stretch, by far the most encouraging aspect of the game, to put away the Aggies after surrendering a 14-point lead in the second half.

Player of the Game: Osby. The junior has his best offensive game of the season with a career-high 24 points on 11 of 15 shooting. He was aggressive and unstoppable inside as the Sooners scored 28 points in the paint.

Unsung Hero: Grooms. The junior point guard has quietly become one of the conference’s most consistent players. He finished with seven points and seven assists with just two turnovers. More importantly, he scored or assisted on OU’s final 12 points.

“I was tired of games being close [then losing] and me not doing anything about it,” Grooms said. “And I was tired of hearing Coach (Lon Kruger) saying something to me about it.

“So, I made up my mind I’m going to try to do what ever I need to do to get a win.”

Key Stat: 81.3. The Sooners shot 13 of 16 from the free throw line (81.3%) while the Aggies were 6 of 9 (66.7%) from the foul line.

Quotable: “All those games come down to just a play or two that swing the game one direction or another. Those games that we lose, we miss an opportunity or two and the other team scores. The games we win like we did today, we scored and got a stop.” -- OU coach Lon Kruger on winning close games

“Coach is always calm, so when you look at him and he’s showing no emotion, you want to execute for him. It’s stuff we’ve been working on in practice every day and we’re finally starting to get it. It’s hard working in a system you’ve never playing in before and being expected to execute it under pressure, late in a game. And we’re starting to execute now.” --Grooms on OU’s late game execution

“It was a good win for our guys. Obviously the ball game could have gone either way. With A&M, games have always gone down to the wire.” -- Kruger

“The difference was we had a hard time guarding in the post. They got a little bit closer to the basket and were able to score on us.” -- A&M coach Billy Kennedy

Up next: vs. No. 9 seed Texas A&M on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City

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