The Oklahoma Sooners headed into Wednesday night’s matchup aiming for their second consecutive road win against a ranked opponent. The only problem, in order to achieve that goal, they would need to get through the Kansas Jayhawks, in Phog Allen Fieldhouse, a venue where they’ve fallen victim in the last ten matchups. So it surprised no one when Kansas came out the victor by the dominating score of 84-62.
The game was very similar to the first meeting between the two conference foes. Just like in the first game, for much of the first half, the Sooners were right in the hunt. They were hitting their shots, making defensive stops, and at halftime found themselves down only a point, still with a realistic possibility of winning the game. However, just like in the first game, all hope that the Sooners clung was aggressively stripped away by a barrage of Jayhawks baskets and dominating physicality in the 2nd.
Thomas Robinson proved almost unguardable in the Jayhawk onslaught, the Sooners post defensive was but a minor hurdle to him on his way to a beastly 20 point and 17 rebound performance, increasing his National Player of the Year stock.
To be blunt, the Jayhawks were the Sooners’ superior in almost every single category you could possibly fit on a stat sheet. Though, there was one area the Sooners held an advantage and that was three point percentage. Oklahoma shot 75% from beyond the arc, which is almost always a recipe for success because it is extremely hard to stop a hot shooting team. The problem then? Limited shots. Despite catching fire near the end of the 2nd, the Sooners only dialed long range four times the entire game and an abrupt cessation to the long bombs started in the second. Why the halt when they were doing so well? It is indeed puzzling, and they might as well have at least tried, as much as they were down, because they certainly weren’t hitting anything else. Ball control also proved an issue for the Sooners, who were forced by Kansas into 15 miscues tonight.
Among leading scorers for the Sooners were Romero Osby (19), Steven Pledger (17) and Andrew Fitzgerald (14) all of whom combined for 50 of the Sooners 64 points. Osby has continued to show major progression over the last few games and is developing nicely for the Sooners, he also grabbed seven boards. He is the Sooner Player of the Game.
No one else managed to score more than four points for the Sooners, and the disparity in scoring is another reason the Sooners were unable to come out on top tonight.
The Sooners will look to rebound Saturday, when they return home to face the hot Iowa State Cyclones.
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