Just two days after from a last second road loss, the Oklahoma Sooners traveled back to Norman for their final non-conference game against the Northwestern State Demons. There were questions as to how the team would respond, so closely removed from the heartbreak of theCincinnatiloss, would they come out sluggish? Instead, the Sooners answered with a 20-point route of the team picked to win the Southland Conference by coaches, crushing the Demons 83-63.
Even coming out of the gates the Sooners looked fresh, and crisp, the loss looked far out of their minds, as they were focused on a new task at hand. The game started on a 6-0 run for the Sooners, and from there the Sooners simply built on their lead which of course, gradually ascended to 20 by games end.
In almost every aspect of the game the Sooners looked to have learned from their loss, shooting 56% from the field and almost double their free throw percentage versus the Bearcats. Their dominance on the glass persisted, as they again outrebounded their opponents this time, by a margin of nine. Though they still struggled with full court pressure, giving the ball away a total of 18 times.
Steven Pledger returned back to his normal state of play, scoring 18 on 6-11 from the field, three of which were three pointers, while also distributing five assists. His one block only adds another reason to make him Sooner Player of the Game.
Romero Osby also added 18 points on 8-13 shooting, and contributed five rebounds. Most critical may have been his defensive play though, he added two blocks to he game résumé.
Andrew Fitzgerald was on pace for another monster game, though foul trouble limited him, he still managed 14 points in just 17 minutes.
Today it was Carl Blair who paced the team for a game-leading six assists in his reserve role, while also chipping in two points off of free throws. CJ Washington also gave some solid minutes off the bench, contributing eight points and five rebounds.
Overall the Sooners rebounded well from the loss two nights ago. This was a win over a solid team picked to win their conference, and should help build up some confidence as the Sooners face another tough road test Tuesday against top-10 ranked Missouri. If the Sooners can shoot the ball as well as they did this afternoon, they will be in a good position, on Tuesday.
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