It seemed almost everything went right for the Sooners Saturday against Iowa State at the Lloyd Noble Center. Points in the paint, advantage Sooners. Points off turnovers, OU took that one too. Second chance points, give that one to the Sooners. They even edge out the Cyclones in rebounding and fast break points, and Andrew Fitzgerald recorded a career high 27 points. Iowa State’s All-Big 12 candidate Royce White was held to three points. Good game on the Sooners part right? Well, except for one pretty important blunder.
The Sooners allowed the Cyclones to nail 15 treys on the night, setting the doleful record for most three pointers allowed in Sooners history. It was this that ultimately sunk the Sooners, despite what was otherwise a pretty good performance. They eventually fell by hand of the three, 77-70.
In wake of the three point barrage, the chances were still there for OU and the final five minutes brought a crescendo of excitement, all the way to the under one minute mark when OU had the ball, down 73-70, with a potential game-saving opportunity to either cut it to one, or tie. Sam Grooms, brought the ball up the court, anticipation in the crowd rising by the second, until, unexpectedly, Melvin Ejim snuck in for the steal of the game, forcing the Sooners to foul. Scott Christopherson sunk both free throws putting away any chance at an Oklahoma comeback.
As mentioned above, Andrew Fitzgerald had a career day scoring-wise, netting a career high 27 points on 58% from the field. He also managed three rebounds, two assists and a block, which is why he is the Sooner Player of the Game.
Fitzgerald was the only Sooner with a career day though. Cameron Clark managed to pull down 11 boards to tie his career high on an otherwise quiet day from the sophomore wing.
Romero Osby and Steven Pledger were the only other Sooners in double figures, with 12 of Pledger’s 14 coming off of three pointers and 11 of them in the second half.
Overall it boils down to that the Sooners simply let one thing get out of hand. They held the upper hand in nearly every single category, but the long bombs from the Cyclones overpowered in the end, causing the Sooner loss, in a game that was critical to Sooner tourney hopes. Now, in order to salvage any hope at all, the Sooners will need to take down a top-five Missouri team is visiting Norman on Monday. Though right now, the NIT is looking like the more likely postseason destination for this Sooner squad.
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