Blake Griffin had 27 points and 18 rebounds for his 15th double-double, and No. 6 Oklahoma slugged out a 72-61 victory over Nebraska on Wednesday night to become the first team in the nation with 18 wins.
Griffin broke a Big 12 record with his eighth game of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds, surpassing the previous mark set by Kevin Durant of Texas and Michael Beasley of Kansas State.
The Sooners (18-1, 4-0 Big 12) needed every bit of his production to get past a disciplined Nebraska (12-5, 2-2) team that kept it close by getting Oklahoma to settle for 3-pointers much of the night.
Austin Johnson hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 6:36 remaining to put Oklahoma up for good. He finished with 15 points. Tony Crocker added 12 points for the Sooners, who won their sixth straight game.
Ryan Anderson scored 19 to lead the Cornhuskers, but all but two came in the first half. Steve Harley had 11 points and Sek Henry added 10.
Nebraska kept it close with a defense that ranks second in the nation by allowing only 55.8 points per game, but couldn’t keep up on offense down the stretch. The Huskers were held scoreless for 4 minutes as Oklahoma extended its one-point lead to 64-55 after Crocker’s three-point play off a botched shot with 1:21 remaining.
Crocker headed to the basket along the right baseline and went for a scoop shot that caught nothing but air. He was able to recover in time to catch it, and got fouled by Toney McCray in the process.
The game got ugly from there, with Henry getting called for an intentional foul and Griffin getting whistled for a technical foul for jawing at Anderson as he lay on the floor after Griffin had blocked his shot.
Nebraska frustrated the Sooners with a sagging defense aimed at keeping the ball out of Griffin’s hands and sending a quick double-team whenever he did get it.
The Sooners fell right into the trap, settling for 3-pointers on 13 of their first 23 shots despite shooting only 35 percent from long range this season.
Anderson hit four of his first six 3-pointers and had 17 points in the first half as the Huskers led by as many as seven before Johnson’s free throw brought Oklahoma to 38-32 at halftime.
The Sooners pounded it in to Griffin to pull ahead in the second half and got just enough 3-pointers to fall. Oklahoma shot 9-for-25 from 3-point range.
Anderson was a surprising star for the Huskers. He had started Nebraska’s first 10 games but was taken out of the lineup as his production continued to drop. He hadn’t made a shot in his last two games and had reached double figures only once this season with an 11-point performance against Alabama State.
He had the hot hand early, though, after replacing starter Ade Dagunduro, who took a hard fall after going up for a rebound. When Dagunduro returned, he quickly picked up a third foul, and Anderson was the beneficiary.
Anderson was back on the bench at the start of the second half and never got it going again. His only points after halftime came on a jumper with 1:13 left that finally ended Oklahoma’s decisive run.