NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- The inside tandem of Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout made sure Oklahoma State continued to struggle against ranked teams.
Bookout and Gray combined for 45 points and 14 rebounds as No. 15 Oklahoma used a strong start to record a 67-57 victory over ninth-ranked Oklahoma State in a Big 12 Conference matchup.
The Cowboys have dropped their last three meetings against ranked opponents, including two within the last eight days. They beat Syracuse, 74-60, in the Jimmy V Classic.
On the other hand, Oklahoma has won its last three meetings with teams in the top 25.
Riding a nine-game winning streak, the Sooners (15-2, 5-0 Big 12) came out sizzling behind Gray and Bookout, who combined to score the first 19 points for Oklahoma on 9-of-9 shooting.
Taking advantage of numerous turnovers, Gray converted a number of fast breaks in the first six minutes, including a dunk off a between-the-legs pass from Drew Lavender. Gray also was on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass from Lavender, capping a 17-0 run with a thunderous slam.
Gray's dunk gave Oklahoma a commanding 19-2 lead with 12:50 remaining.
"Everyone came out and played very well tonight in a big-game atmosphere," Gray said. "We were moving the ball well and everyone stepped up their game tonight."
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State had as many points - six - as it had turnovers in the opening eight-plus minutes. The Cowboys did put together a 12-2 run over the final five minutes of the first half to pull within 29-20 at the half.
In the second half, the Cowboys closed within 31-29 on a layup by Ivan McFarlin, but Bookout responded with six points during an 8-0 run for the Sooners.
Oklahoma State (14-3, 4-2) threatened again when John Lucas hit a jumper that cut the deficit to 51-46 with 5:11 remaining, but Bookout had a three-point play and a dunk in the next 79 seconds to push the lead to 59-49.
Bookout finished 11-of-15 from the field with 23 points and Gray chipped in 22, eight rebounds and a career-high five assists for Oklahoma, which improved to 73-26 in the all-time series here.
"I thought we played great tonight," Bookout said. "In spurts we played well, but overall we played extremely well. I thought the guards did a tremendous job of getting the ball inside and provided Taj and me with great looks all night."
"Bookout has trimmed down, and he's a load down there," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "He's so wide, and he's really a smart player in that he knows how to position himself and get angled. He also knows how to get in the right place on offensive rebounds and may have the strongest hands out of anyone I've coached against."
The Sooners dominated inside, holding a 50-34 scoring advantage in the paint, and did an outstanding job passing around the ball to find the open man.
"Those kids are so unselfish," Oklahoma coach Kevin Sampson said. "Of 29 baskets, we had 21 assists. We make each other better. That's the mark of a good team. We have very high character kids. It's not hard to share the ball when they're like that."
Lavender totaled eight points and seven assists and Jaison Williams added eight and four for Oklahoma, which had four of its five starters record at least four assists.
Sampson, who has the Sooners off to their best start in league play since they began 6-0 in the Big Eight Conference in 1988-89, captured his 250th win with Oklahoma. He has a 250-94 mark in 11 seasons with the school, and is 426-242 in 22 years overall.
"They've come so far," said Sutton about Oklahoma's improvement. "I told Kelvin that he should be proud of his staff because I saw them play Tulsa, and they have improved so much since then. And they've got two guys inside who put a lot of pressure on the defense. And if you give too much away, they have good perimeter shooting."
McFarlin scored 16 points and Joey Graham added 15 for the Cowboys, who shot 35 percent (9-of-26) in the first half.
"Everyone watched this game today on television," McFarlin said. "Now they believe they have keys to beating us inside. We just have to correct it. The guards really penetrated and got the ball inside so they could get it to the bucket. Those are just things we have to work on, and if we don't continue to work on them, things won't be good."