No. 23 Texas A&,M 69, Oklahoma 54
No. 23 Texas A&M wrapped up a rare win at Oklahoma with
exactly what the Sooners have been missing during an extended
losing streak: Defense.
Khris Middleton scored 15 points, Bryan Davis added 13 points
and 10 rebounds and the Aggies held Oklahoma to its lowest
second-half scoring total of the season in a 69-54 victory
Saturday. The win earned Texas A&M the No. 4 seed and a
first-round bye at next week’s Big 12 tournament.
“The reason that we’re so successful is that these guys bring
an unbelievable amount of toughness to the program,” coach Mark
Turgeon said. “A lot of the games that we’ve won over the last
four years with these guys have been because of toughness.”
The Aggies (22-8, 11-5 Big 12) held Oklahoma to only 22 points
on 24 percent shooting in the second half. Over the final 28
minutes, Texas A&M – which leads the Big 12 in scoring defense
during conference play – held a 55-31 scoring edge.
“I thought defensively we were as good as we’ve been,” said
Turgeon, who moved to 71-29 through 100 games at A&M.
After starting out 1-25 in the series, the Aggies have won five
of the last eight meetings and are now 2-14 in Norman.
Texas A&M outscored the Sooners 38-16 in the paint and shot
52 percent while winning for the eighth time in their last 10
games, including four of five on the road. Oklahoma (13-17, 4-12)
has allowed its last seven opponents to shoot at least 50 percent
during an eight-game losing streak, the school’s longest since
The Sooners were within 38-36 when Tiny Gallon, who had averaged
19 points and 12 rebounds in his last two games, rolled his ankle
while landing after blocking Middleton’s jumper. He had to be
helped off the floor with 18:12 remaining and was noticeably
limping when he briefly tried to return twice later.
Soon after Gallon was hurt, Middleton hit a 3-pointer from the
left side and B.J. Holmes followed with a three-point play and a
3-pointer from the right wing as Texas A&M reeled off nine
straight points for a 50-38 lead.
Middleton then followed Ray Turner’s two-handed follow dunk with
four straight points as the Aggies pushed their advantage to 64-48
with 5:58 remaining.
Tommy Mason-Griffin led Oklahoma with 16 points and also broke
Terry Evans’ school record for most assists by a freshman in a
season. Andrew Fitzgerald and senior Ryan Wright, playing his final
home game at Lloyd Noble Center, scored 10 apiece.
The Sooners will be the 10th seed at the Big 12 tournament next
week and face rival Oklahoma State in the opening round on
Wednesday while trying to avoid a ninth straight loss for the first
time since 1964.
A candid coach Jeff Capel pointed the finger at himself for
what’s become a miserable season that started out with high hopes
and a top-20 ranking. He said there have been too many personal
agendas among players who have been unable or unwilling to accept
“I’ve done a poor job this year. It’s one of the worst jobs –
the worst job I’ve ever done,” Capel said. “I haven’t been able
to push the right buttons. We’re going to keep trying to plug away
and see if we can figure it out before Wednesday.”
Capel pointed out that Oklahoma has four freshmen in its
seven-man rotation after leading scorer Willie Warren had
season-ending ankle surgery. However, he said that’s “not an
The senior class that played its last game at Lloyd Noble Center
on Saturday could have been a star-studded one. Scottie Reynolds
bolted for Villanova and Damion James headed to Texas after Capel
was hired. And he left his own team short-handed when he chased off
others that would have been seniors now, including Bobby Maze (now
starting for No. 16 Tennessee) and junior college transfer Juan
“A lot of this stuff is self-inflicted,” Capel said. “We
can’t do anything about injuries but some of the things that have
happened with our team are self-inflicted. That’s something that we
can control that we haven’t done a good job of doing that and I
haven’t done a good job of doing that.”
Tony Crocker and former walk-on Beau Gerber became the first
players to play four seasons with Capel, and both got emotional
while addressing the crowd in a postgame senior day ceremony.
“There ain’t nothing like playing at your dream school and I
enjoyed every minute of it. I’m going to miss it so much,” said
Crocker, who had four points before fouling out with 5:58 to play
while preventing Middleton’s dunk on a breakaway.
Capel called the postgame speeches the only positives from the
“You can’t have emotion like that unless something means
something to you, unless you care deeply and passionately about
something,” Capel said. “A lot of our younger guys should take a
cue from that. But this younger generation, I don’t know if they
know how to care about anything.”