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Bookout's practice pays off, Sooners rebound from ugly loss

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- After one of his worst shooting games,
Kevin Bookout spent extra time working on post play and what he
calls his go-to move -- a hook shot.

That extra practice proved invaluable for Bookout on Wednesday
night. The senior center had a season-high 24 points and 10
rebounds as Oklahoma (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) rebounded from an embarrassing loss to
beat Oral Roberts 81-73.

Oklahoma (7-2) extended its home winning streak against
nonconference foes to 45 games, the longest in Division I, but
received a tougher-than-expected challenge from Oral Roberts (5-6),
the preseason pick to win the Mid-Continent Conference.

The Sooners, losers by 24 to West Virginia in their previous
game, trailed Oral Roberts by seven points with 13 minutes left and
were tied with 2:29 left before closing with an 11-3 run.

"For our team and what we need right now, I'm not sure I could
have scripted it any better," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said.
"It would have been nice to win by 25, but I don't think there's a
team in America that could beat (Oral Roberts) by 25."

Oral Roberts lost its third straight game despite shooting 55
percent from the field, compared to 43 percent for Oklahoma. Caleb
Green led the Golden Eagles with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

A decided edge at the free-throw line helped Oklahoma's cause.
The Sooners made 20 of 26 attempts, while Oral Roberts finished 10
of 17. Oklahoma also committed a season-low five turnovers,
compared to 18 for Oral Roberts.

Preventing turnovers "is something we've really been
emphasizing," Sampson said.

Bookout, who had only four shots and four points in the loss to
West Virginia, finished 10-of-18 from the field against Oral
Roberts. A good number of his baskets came on well-guarded baseline
hook shots.

"I was so confident today," Bookout said. "I've worked on
that hook shot and I feel I can make it from anywhere on the
court."

Bookout's 3-point play with 2:18 left put the Sooners ahead for
good at 73-70. Nate Carter, who scored 16 points, added two free
throws for Oklahoma before a 3-pointer by Ken Tutt pulled Oral
Roberts within 75-73 with 1:03 left.

Carter answered with another 3-point play, rebounding Bookout's
miss and scoring while being fouled by Larry Owens. Terrell Everett
went 4-of-4 from the line in the final 31 seconds to seal the win
for Oklahoma.

Oral Roberts outrebounded Oklahoma 35-33. It marked the first
time this season the Sooners, who entered the game third nationally
in rebounding margin at plus-15.6 per game, were outworked on the
boards.

"It was encouraging that we did a nice job on the glass but at
the same time when you get to crunch time, those (mistakes) are the
things that win you the game or lose you the game," Oral Roberts
coach Scott Sutton said. "We just had stupid turnovers the last
three or four minutes."

Oklahoma is 10-2 all-time against its instate rival.

Oral Roberts had a 14-10 lead 6 minutes into the game, before
Bookout had six points -- on three hook shots -- during an 11-0 run
that put the Sooners ahead 21-14. Oklahoma led 37-31 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles opened the second half on a 8-1 run and took a
39-38 lead with 17:01 left on a Jonathan Bluitt layup. They
extended that margin to 51-44 on a Yemi Ogunoye basket with 13:17
left.

Oklahoma went on a 12-3 run and regained the lead at 56-54 on a
3-pointer by Everett with 9:30 left.

Oral Roberts rallied to again go ahead and led 67-62 with 5:37
left. But Everett, who had 17 points and five assists, made
consecutive 3-pointers to give the Sooners the lead at 70-68 with
3:38 left.

All of Everett's 17 points came in the second half, and he
finished 3-of-5 from 3-point range after entering the game 6-of-28
for the season.

"I got one of those to go, and after that, I was feeling it,"
Everett said.

Owens added 15 points for the Golden Eagles, while Taj Gray,
Oklahoma's leading scorer, had 12 points and nine rebounds.