Senior day for Oklahoma Sooners basketball was marked by great senior play. Andrew Fitzgerald, Romero Osby, Sam Grooms and Steven Pledger were all honored before the Sooners game against Iowa State on Saturday, and all put in solid performances in front of the fans who have watched them develop over the years. Osby led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds, as well as two blocked shots, as the Sooners downed the Cyclones 86-69, getting some sweet revenge after falling 83-64 earlier this year in Ames.
Grooms, who has developed into quite the scorer as of late, finished with 19 points and six assists on just one turnover. Pledger had 14 points on four three pointers—by the way, Pledger is just 17 threes away from breaking the all-time Sooner record for career three pointers (currently 259). The amount of threes made by Pledger will be a fun stat to track over these final few games as he chases the record. Finally, Fitzgerald came off the bench to give the Sooners a solid 10 points and three boards in 21 minutes.
Oklahoma can credit their win today largely to their impeccable performance from the foul line. To say they shot the ball well almost demeans their accomplishment. The Sooners were a perfect 34-for-34 from the stripe, breaking a school record and tying an NCAA record. It was an incredibly awesome experience to witness for any of those in attendance.
Right from the start, the Sooners jumped out on the Cyclones, taking an early 12-2 lead. Iowa State was able to quickly trim this lead to four, thanks a couple of three pointers. However, Iowa State, arguably the best three point shooting team in the nation, did not fare nearly as well from deep for the larger part of the half. The Sooners held Iowa State, which averages 37.3% from long range on the season, to just 25% (4-16) in the first half. The stellar defensive play led to a 12-point halftime advantage of 40-28 for Oklahoma, who doubled their opponent’s percentage, shooting 50% from three.
It’s difficult to find anything to complain about in this dominating win for the Sooners. They outrebounded the Cyclones, they outshot them, and they even took care of the ball. Oklahoma only committed five turnovers on the afternoon, a season low. Even when Iowa State applied full court pressure, they were seemingly unfazed.
It was a complete and collective performance for the Sooners.
By the time we reached the second half, there was little the Cyclones could do. Oklahoma continued to build their lead, determined not to have another epic collapse like the one in Austin Wednesday night, increasing their lead to as much as 26. Iowa State did show some life late, scoring three long range buckets in the final three minutes, but it was too late, the game was clearly the Sooners to win.
Next up the Sooners will be back at home Wednesday when they take on West Virginia in their final home game of the regular season. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CST.
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