Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners lose a close one on the road at Arkansas

Oklahoma was so close to grasping a marquee road win Tuesday evening in Fayetteville against the Arkansas Razorbacks.  The Sooners held a 78-77 lead in the waning minutes of the game, until B.J. Young, the Razorbacks leading scorer on the year, hit a basket in the final minute of the game to give the Hogs a lead they would not relinquish.

Arkansas would go on to win 81-78, as Oklahoma fell to 6-2 on the year and 4-2 in road contests.

Sooner bench looks on as Oklahoma falls to Arkansas (Photo from Soonersports.com)

B.J. Young finished the night with 10 points (well under his season average of 21) for the Razorbacks and Marhsawn Powell added a career high 33 points in the victory.

As expected, the game was very up-tempo as the Razorbacks implemented the unconventional “40 minutes of hell” style.  The Sooners at times, struggled to keep up with the pace, resulting in 17 Oklahoma miscues.  Credit the Hogs for running their system and running it well, coming into the game, Arkansas ranked among the top 15 in the nation in number of turnovers forced per game.

Romero Osby led the Sooners in scoring with a season high 22 points on 9-12 shooting from the floor.  He also added six rebounds and is the Sooner Player of the Game.

Next in scoring for Oklahoma was Amath M’Baye who totaled 14 points on 6-10 shooting and also pulled down six boards.  Steven Pledger provided 12 points, all of which came from downtown and Cameron Clark provided a spark off the bench scoring 8 points on 3-4 shooting in 20 minutes.

Aside from the turnovers, the Sooners seemed to benefit from the more fast-paces style of play.  Using the opportunity to score more in transition to their advantage, Oklahoma shot 55% from the field.  The offense was a lot more efficient than in previous games this season.

The Sooners trailed for much of the second half, but a 7-0 within a two minute span dwindled their deficit to just one, as they were down 69-68 with five minutes left.  They would eventually take the lead, before giving it away again shortly after.

Oklahoma did win the rebounding battle in this game yet again, but for the first time when that happened, ended up with a loss.  The Sooners out battled Arkansas 31-26 on the glass.

The Sooners will get over a week’s worth of rest before taking the court again December 15th against Texas A&M for the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City.  Tip-off is set for 1 PM CST.

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