In Oklahoma, nothing is sweeter than a bedlam win. The Oklahoma Sooners have now felt that sugary feeling for 10 straight seasons, as they took down No. 8 Oklahoma State, 88-76 Monday evening. The win marked the tenth consecutive for the Sooners on their home floor.
The night was all about Oklahoma, as three state natives led the Sooners across the board. Jordan Woodard, who attended Edmond Memorial, led the Sooners with 18 points on the evening. As Sooner fans have grown accustomed to, the talented freshman got to the line often, for a total of 13 foul shots. He was also aggressive and disruptive on defense, coming up with two steals. Ryan Spangler, who attended Bridge Creek in high school, led Oklahoma with 17 rebounds. The fact that he dealt with lingering foul trouble which limited him to 25 minutes makes this feat that more impressive. He also shot 50% from the floor and scored 15 points. Tyler Neal, who attended Putnam City West, came off the bench for an efficient 17 minutes. Neal made all three of his attempted threes, and scored 15 points to give the Sooners a boost. There is simply something about being an Oklahoman that makes this game that much more special and important. That much is expressed through the play of these three citizens of the Sooner State.
Marcus Smart began by nailing two successive threes, he Cowboys jumped out to an early lead of a slim margin, but could not maintain it for long.
Spangler answered a Markel Brown with a rim-rattling alley-oop off of a lob pass from Woodard. That sparked a 13-0 run by the Sooners that would give them a double-digit advantage. Smart picked up his second foul just as the run was coming to a close, and was confined to the bench the remainder of the half. With Smart out, the two teams traded blows, and the margin stayed relatively the same throughout. Oklahoma led by eight at halftime.
Though Oklahoma felt good about the lead, with Smart waiting to enter the game, they could not afford to let up even the slightest bit. The Sooners opened up the half on fire, quickly growing their lead to 17. Woodard and Frank Booker were instrumental in the expansion of the lead. However, Oklahoma State would not be counted out. Led by Smart, who finished the game with 22 points, and the outside shooting of Phil Forte, the Cowboys began their comeback. Still, they could not come any closer than seven, as the Sooners rode Spangler and Woodard all the way to the finish line.
Only one Sooner not from Oklahoma managed double figures, Buddy Hield, who had 11. He also came up with three steals. Booker played an impressive game, however, finishing with eight points off the bench and nailing a pair of huge threes.
The Sooners outscored the Cowboys in points in the paint, second chance points, and bench points tonight. They also won the rebounding battle, 42-37.
Overall, this could be the Sooners’ best win to date this season. With a win at home versus Iowa State already, and wins on the road versus Texas and Baylor, that is saying something. The Sooners are racking up the quality wins and piecing together a nice NCAA tournament resume’. It’s now not a matter of whether or not the Sooners will make the dance, but where they will be seeded. The scary part is, it isn’t even February yet.
Next up the Sooners (17-4, 6-2) will travel to Ames to take on Iowa State (15-3, 3-3). Tip-off is set for 3 PM CST on Saturday, Feb. 1.
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