AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—A.J. Abrams scored 18 of Texas’ final 20 points Saturday night, leading the Longhorns to a 73-68 upset of No. 2 Oklahoma, which had to play most of the game without leading scorer and rebounder Blake Griffin after he sustained a concussion in the first half.
Abrams scored 16 in a row in the final 8 minutes, hitting four 3-pointers, then capped off the scoring with two free throws with 4 seconds to play.
Griffin, the Big 12’s leading scorer and leading rebounder, played just 11 minutes and left for good with about four minutes left in the first half, finishing with two points and three rebounds. Griffin appeared to take a shot to the face when he tried to spin for a baseline shot.
Willie Warren scored 27 points to lead Oklahoma (25-2, 11-1 Big 12), which had won 13 in a row.
Abrams finished with 23 points and Damion James scored 16 for the Longhorns ( 18-8, 7-5).
Abrams started his run of consecutive points with a 3-pointer that put Texas up 56-50. He finished it with another 3 over two defenders to put the Longhorns up 69-65 with 1:17 to play.
After the Sooners cut the lead to one on Juan Patillo’s putback layup, Longhorns forward Dexter Pittman grabbed an offensive rebound before powering over three Sooners for the basket. Oklahoma’s Tony Crocker missed a 3-pointer to tie before Abrams drew a foul and made his two free throws.
Warren, the Big 12’s top scoring freshman, did his best to carry the Sooners on the court where he won a Texas state high school championship last season. He was 10 of 20 from the floor with six 3-pointers but it was clear the Sooners missed their leader Griffin.
Texas came in desperate for a win after losing four of their last six and the game quickly picked up the intensity and physical play of the Longhorns’ and Sooners’ football rivalry. Griffin knocked down the wispy Abrams just 10 seconds into the game to pick up his first foul.
Griffin soon picked up another foul and had already spent about 5 minutes of the half on the bench before he appeared to take a shot to the face from the 300-pound Pittman, who was guarding him near the basket.
Griffin went back to the bench and sat there with a cotton swap stuffed into his left nostril. At halftime, while his teammates ran off the court, Griffin staggered toward the locker room as a trainer held his right arm.
Warren had knocked down two 3s just before halftime and kept firing away in the second.
After Texas built a 41-29 lead early in the second, Oklahoma stormed back with a 14-0 run and led 43-41 on consecutive baskets by Patillo. Two more 3s by Warren put Oklahoma up 61-56 with 5 minutes to play. Even that came with some drama as Warren collapsed to the floor writhing in pain and trainers ran onto the court, apparantly to work out cramps in his left calf.
That’s when Abrams wrapped it up with the long shots of his own. His third 3 put Texas up 66-64, a lead the Longhorns wouldn’t give away.