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Griffin, Oklahoma continue to control 'Bedlam Series'

Jan 27, 2009 - 7:17 AM STILLWATER, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Blake Griffin posted his third straight game with a double-double with 26 points and 19 rebounds as fifth-ranked Oklahoma topped intra-state rival Oklahoma State, 89-81, on Monday.

Austin Johnson had 22 points and Juan Pattillo added 12 for the Sooners (20-1, 6-0 Big 12), who became the first team in the nation to reach 20 wins.

Facing its bitter rival for the first of two meetings this season, Oklahoma captured its fourth straight win and six in the last seven showdowns.

"I'm really proud of our guys to come here and get a win," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "It's another win on the road, so that's three in the Big 12.

"We were able to keep our composure with all the things they were throwing at us - the runs they made and some of the shots they hit. So many guys stepped up and made plays for us."

It did so behind Griffin, who did not back down from the Cowboys' intimidation tactics.

Less than three minutes into the contest, Oklahoma State forward Malcolm Kirkland was whistled for a technical foul after slapping Griffin in the head following a made basket by the Cowboys' Obi Muonelo.

Kirkland would also be given an intentional foul late in the second half for throwing his shoulder into Griffin on an inbounds play.

Johnson split the two ensuing free throws as the Sooners went on a 7-0 run to take a 17-8 lead.

Oklahoma State would get within a point at 17-16 behind an 8-0 run, but Griffin and his teammates proved too much as Oklahoma went on to win its eighth straight game.

"You've got to give Oklahoma all the credit," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. "I thought we made a lot of mental mistakes that people may not see like guys not getting into the plays we called.

"We gave up too many layups and too many dunks. There were some things they did tonight that we didn't have an answer for."

Held to only six points in the first half due to the game's up-tempo play, Griffin took over when things slowed down after the break, going 6-of-6 from the field to score 20 second-half points.

"One of the things I thought about Blake was he wasn't in the post as much in the first half," Capel said. "They were coming at him as soon as he caught it in the post.

"In the second half, they did not come as much. Blake did a better job of getting positioning."

The 6-10 sophomore also pulled down 10 rebounds after intermission en route to finishing with one more board than the entire Oklahoma State team (18).

"When he's in the game, he's just great for us rebounding," Johnson said. "We know that he'll get almost every rebound if he's down under the goal. He just does a tremendous job for us night in and night out."

With Griffin held in check early, Johnson stepped up, scoring 12 points and hitting three of his five 3-pointers.

"Just being a senior and being out there when it comes down to it, I can step up and make a tough shot," Johnson said. "I felt like shooting it and it went in."

Byron Eaton had 20 points for the Cowboys (13-6, 2-3), who dropped to 0-4 against ranked opponents this season.

Muonelo, James Anderson and Keiton Page added 15 points each for Oklahoma State, which forced 23 turnovers in the contest but converted them into only 17 points. That was exactly the same number that Oklahoma got off the Cowboys' 13 giveaways.