Ugly. That’s the only way to describe the Sooners performance against 17th ranked Gonzaga tonight. Oklahoma shot a dismal 32% (16 of 50) from the floor and turned the ball over 14 times under pressure from Gonzaga, on their way to 72-47 beating in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic. The Sooners fell to 3-1 on the season with the loss.
Romero Osby once again led the Sooners with 13 points and also added five rebounds. The senior is really establishing himself thus far this season as the true leader of this Sooner squad. He is once again the Sooner Player of the Game. Freshman Isaiah Cousins added 10 more on 3-5 from three point range. He was the only other Sooner to score in double figures.
Gonzaga raced out to an early 14-5 lead behind a few jump shots, though that was not indicative of how most of the game would be. In fact, the Bulldogs did the vast majority of their damage on the interior to neutralize a rather sub-par night shooting. Forward Elias Harris led the Zags in scoring with 18 points on 7-10 shooting.
Oklahoma was able to pull within three with five minutes to play in the first half thanks to some stellar defensive play, but what ensued was 12-4 Bulldog run, that would give them the double digit advantage heading into halftime.
The second half was absolutely brutal for the Sooners. The defensive pressure that was there in the first half was non-existent and things simply fell apart for Oklahoma. The Gonzaga lead quickly increased as their dominance inside remained constant. Oklahoma’s offensive struggles continued, and the Bulldogs never looked back cruising to the victory.
Depth was a big element in the Gonzaga win, as ten different Bulldogs were able to connect for a bucket tonight.
The Sooners were outrebounded for the first time this season by the wide margin of 23. They came into the game averaging 13 offensive boards per outing, but were held to just three. Steven Pledger and Buddy Hield, typically two of the Sooners most reliable outside shooters, combined for just 12 points on 2-8 from outside this evening.
Though this certainly isn’t the Sooner team we’ve grown accustomed to through the initial three games, credit Gonzaga for a lot of the struggles this evening. Their defensive pressure made Oklahoma’s half court offensive look downright out of sync and their balanced offensive attack proved too much for the Sooners solid defensive pressure.
The Sooners will look to get back on track Sunday after a day’s rest when they will host Big 12 foe West Virginia in a battle for third place in the Old Spice Classic. The meeting will be the first of three between the two this season.
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