NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Louisiana Tech coach Michael White thought his team had the game sewn up.
But Oklahoma's Cameron Clark hit a wild 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Louisiana Tech coach Michael White thought his team had the game sewn up. But Oklahoma's Cameron Clark hit a wild 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. White's Bulldogs, though, battled back, coming up big especially at the free-throw line in the extra period, to beat the Sooners 102-98 in front of 5,260 at the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night. "I just couldn't be more proud of the poise and mental toughness that our guys played with just to overcome all the adversities that we had to overcome," White said. "We have a physically tough group but I thought our mental toughness was off the charts tonight." Alex Hamilton scored 10 of his game-high 31 points in overtime as the Bulldogs snapped Oklahoma's seven-game winning streak. Raheem Appleby scored 22 for Louisiana Tech and Cordarius Johnson scored 17 — 14 in the first half. The Sooners led by as many as four points in overtime but like other OU leads — 14 in the first half, seven in the second — it quickly slipped away. Hamilton's jumper in the lane cut OU's lead to one with just more than a minute remaining in overtime, then he grabbed the rebound on a missed 3-pointer by Ryan Spangler on the other end and the Bulldogs kept converting at the line to take control. Louisiana Tech was 13 for 14 from the free-throw line in overtime. Oklahoma had two chances to tie the game in the final 30 seconds. First, Jordan Woodard missed a running jumper with less than 25 seconds left that was grabbed by Louisiana Tech's Isaiah Massey. Then Clark lost control of the ball as he was going up for a jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining and Hamilton hit both free throws after being fouled to put the game away. After taking just three shots in the first half, making one, Hamilton was 7 of 9 from the floor in the second half and overtime. "Alex was phenomenal," White said. "He couldn't find a rhythm in the first half and in the second half, he put us on his back and just made a ton of plays offensively. "He's got great playmaking skills. He was able to get in the paint a lot, convert a lot and draw fouls." Louisiana Tech (11-3) wraps up its nonconference schedule at home Saturday against Longwood. For Oklahoma, it was a disappointing way to enter Big 12 play. The Sooners (11-2) start conference play Saturday at Texas. "We've got to learn from it," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "We have to work a lot harder defensively." Louisiana Tech seemingly had the game sealed in regulation after Woodard's missed 3-pointer with less than four seconds remaining. But Clark scooped up the rebound, sprinted behind the 3-point line in the corner, turned and fired in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. "I thought about going for two but then I went to the 3-point line and was able to knock it down," Clark said. Just moments earlier, Clark had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line before missing the first of two. Clark finished with 26 points. Ryan Spangler tied his season highs in points (20) and rebounds (13) before fouling out in the final moments of overtime. "Obviously it wasn't good enough," Spangler said. "We got the loss. There are things that I need to work on; it doesn't matter what the stats say. I can always get more rebounds, help my guards when they need it. I struggled with that today." The Sooners lead hovered around double digits for much of the first half. Oklahoma led by 14 points after freshman walk-on Austin Mankin hit a 3-pointer with 4:18 remaining in the first half. But the Bulldogs closed the half with a 16-2 run that included three 3-pointers, two by Johnson. "It's simply making a couple shots, converting from two and from three, and that allowed us to set our press, create a couple of turnovers and then it became a competitive game," White said. "Because it could've been ugly early." The Sooners didn't lead in the second half past the 7:30 mark and trailed by as many as seven before Clark's heroics helped send the game to overtime. "As deflated as I was, I can't imagine how deflated our guys were," White said. "To regroup and play with the amount of mental toughness as they did in the extra period was really impressive."