You could hear the resounding sigh of relief from the Sooner nation over the final buzzer in Wednesday night’s bedlam battle. The Sooners had finally snapped their six game losing streak, in what was, for the most part a dominating effort. Oklahoma led by as many as 20 points before settling for the 77-64 win over their in-state rivals.
The first half was about as perfectly executed a half as you could ask for from the Sooners, and about as atrocious of one as possible from the Cowboys. The Sooners displayed tenacious defense, allowing for only 12 points from the Cowboys the entire half. They ended up with a commanding 18 point edge heading into halftime.
However, it was far form over. The Cowboys came out of the lockers room rejuvenated and looking to claw there way back into the game, they wasted no time either, trimming the lead back down to three in fewer than eight minutes. It looked as if the Sooners were heading towards another second half collapse. However, this time they responded differently. This time, they looked more poised, focused and did not let frustration take over and cause mistakes. This focused mindset led to a 16-3 run of their own, as they reclaimed the double digit advantage. From there it was smooth sailed for the Sooners who never trailed again, despite a barrage of three pointers and even a 4-point play from Cowboy guard Keiton Page late.
Much of the Sooners win tonight can be credited to the well rounded play of the team. It’s very difficult to stop a team with multiple weapons, and the Sooners certainly attacked in a variety of ways tonight. They had four players (Steven Pledger, Romero Osby, Cameron Clark and Sam Grooms) finish with double figures, and also received a boost of energy from Tyler Neal, who provided nine points off the bench. Pledger finished with 16 points, despite being injured for the majority of the second half.
Romero Osby also managed 13 rebounds along with his 16 points for a double-double, making him the Sooner Player of the Game.
Another key figure for the Sooners off the bench was CJ Washington. Though he only managed four points, he was behind only Osby in rebounding with eight boards and also put together a duo of blocks and steals on the defensive end.
Cameron Clark also continued to perform well with his third straight double digit performance. He had 14 points and five rebounds in the win.
Speaking of defense, as mentioned that was huge for Oklahoma tonight. They held the Cowboys to just 12 points in the first, and 36% shooting the entire night, also causing 12 miscues from Oklahoma State.
Overall this was a huge confidence booster for the Sooners, especially heading into a tough game like Baylor this weekend. Though it’s still unlikely they will make a postseason bid, this game serves as a preview of how good the Sooners could be next season, with more experience and a couple key additions to the squad. Hope is definitely on the horizon for the Sooners.
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