Sampson wins 250th with Sooners

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Kevin Bookout and Taj Gray found a weakness
up front against Oklahoma State, and exploited it again and again.

Bookout scored 23 points and Gray added 22 Monday night as the
Sooners (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP) dominated No. 9 Oklahoma State inside on its
way to a 67-57 win.

"Pretty much, the goal tonight was to go out there and play
tough," Gray said. "It was about rebounding, physical play and

The Sooners (16-2, 5-0 Big 12) gave back most of an early
17-point lead before taking over again in the second half and
giving coach Kelvin Sampson his 250th win at Oklahoma.

"They're hard to handle," Sampson said.

Gray and Bookout scored the first 19 points for Oklahoma, and
the big men were there with the game on the line, too.

After Oklahoma State (14-3, 4-2) pulled within 33-27, Bookout
scored six points during a 10-0 run that put the Sooners back in
control. In the middle of the spurt, Drew Lavender came down on a
fast break, bounced the ball between his legs, and Gray flew in to
jam the ball in with his right hand to put Oklahoma ahead 37-27 and
get the crowd jumping.

After Bookout dropped in a two-handed layup, Oklahoma's lead was
43-27. The advantage kept growing.

Gray converted a three-point play, Lavender hit a driving layup,
and Jaison Williams made a 3-pointer from the left wing to extend
Oklahoma's lead to 51-31.

Joey Graham scored in the lane to start a 13-4 run that gave
Oklahoma State some life, but Bookout converted a three-point play,
and Williams drilled another 3-pointer to put Oklahoma ahead 61-44
with less than 4 minutes to play.

"We knew they were going to come back. The key was to answer,"
Sampson said. "When a team comes back on you, you better answer
and you better not turn it over because turnovers lead to easy

Oklahoma had a season-low eight turnovers and had 21 assists on
its 29 baskets.

"It's amazing what you can accomplish when nobody cares who
gets the credit," Sampson said.

Ivan McFarlin finished with 16 points to lead Oklahoma State,
and Graham scored 15. John Lucas III, who had been averaging 17.8
points per game, was held to 10 on 3-for-13 shooting. He scored
seven points in the final 4½ minutes.

Oklahoma raced out of the gates and pounded the ball inside to
Gray and Bookout, who masterfully ran the high-low and mixed in
transition baskets, too.

By the time Gray finished off Lavender's alley-oop with a layup
to make it 19-2, he already had 11 points and a pair of two-handed
jams. Gray was 5-for-5 to start the game, and Bookout couldn't miss

"They went to their bread and butter," McFarlin said. "They
really got to it right away, and we were kind of in a bind."

The Cowboys eventually figured out the plan and were able to
keep the ball from Oklahoma's two big men. McFarlin cut the deficit
to 27-18 with a fastbreak layup after Gray tried to force a pass
inside to Bookout and it was stolen by a pair of Cowboys.

Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma to the glass early in the second
half to cut into the Sooners' lead. Daniel Bobik's long offensive
rebound led to a 3-pointer by Lucas, and McFarlin's putback brought
the Cowboys within six.

But Oklahoma had an answer -- and it was more Bookout and Gray.
The tandem scored 11 of the next 13 points, and Oklahoma State was
never within single digits again.

"They're both good inside players," Oklahoma State coach Eddie
Sutton said. "They can't score from beyond 15 feet I don't think,
but boy, you let them get inside, and they're tough."

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