Oklahoma 86, Texas A&M 60
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—De’Angelo Alexander scored 17 points and freshman Drew Lavender had 14 points and eight assists to help Oklahoma break its four-game losing streak with an 86-60 victory over Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Jaison Williams, Jason Detrick and Johnnie Gilbert each had 12 points for the Sooners, who opened the game with a 21-2 run.
Oklahoma (17-9, 7-8 Big 12) snapped its second four-game skid of the season and moved into seventh place in the conference, one game behind Texas Tech.
Oklahoma, ranked as high as No. 6 in the first week of January, badly needed this win to keep alive its dim hopes for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. Missouri, another Big 12 team hoping for a berth, helped out Oklahoma’s cause by losing at Texas Tech on the same night.
Texas A&M (7-19, 0-15) didn’t put up much resistance.
The Aggies missed 10 of their first 11 shots and committed seven turnovers in the first 9 minutes, falling behind by 19 points.
Oklahoma led 35-20 at halftime, holding the Aggies to 5-for-29 shooting (17 percent) with 13 turnovers. Texas A&M’s starters combined for four points in the first half.
The Aggies never got any closer than 13 points in the second half, and trailed by as many as 30.
Jesse King led Texas A&M with 13 points and Antoine Wright added 12.
Oklahoma didn’t have much trouble getting over the absence of senior center Jabahri Brown, who was charged Wednesday with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Brown didn’t suit up for the game and wasn’t at a team shootaround before the game.
Even without their big man, the Sooners managed to shoot a season-best 59 percent from the field—not so surprising since the effort came against the Big 12’s worst defense.
Texas A&M is one loss away from becoming only the second Big 12 team to go winless in league play. Baylor did it in 1999. The Aggies will try to avoid that dubious mark Saturday at No. 6 Oklahoma State, the regular season conference champs.
The Aggies also didn’t do much to end speculation about sixth-year coach Melvin Watkins’ job security.
Whether it was curious coaching strategy or terrible court awareness, Texas A&M chose to fire away from the outside instead of dumping the ball inside against the woefully undersized Sooners.
During one second-half stretch, Oklahoma went with a lineup that didn’t have anyone larger than 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward Brandon Foust.
Watkins got so frustrated he was eventually called for a technical foul with 9:54 left for jawing at the officials for several minutes. From then on, Watkins mostly sat in his chair, hand on his chin, shaking his head.