It was a rough day for the Oklahoma Sooners in Ames. They shot just 40.8% from the floor, didn’t manage to get to the free throw line as often as they would like, and turned the ball over 14 times. All of this culminated in an 81-75 loss to Iowa State on Saturday.
Buddy Hield had a career day, netting 30 points and going 5-for-8 from deep. The sophomore also had seven rebounds and three steals. His torrid shooting kept Oklahoma in the game; he went through periods in which he was unstoppable. Alas, the next best thing for the Sooners was Isaiah Cousins, who put in a solid 13 points. Still, the Sooners were missing the balanced scoring attack that has become so consistent for them this season, and it showed.
Ryan Spangler was again relentless on the boards, leading the Sooners with 12 rebounds. However, Spangler’s performance was outshined by that of a Cyclone. Melvin Ejim had a Spangler-esque day, doing to the Sooners what Spangler did to the Cyclones in Norman. Ejim had 16 boards to go along with 22 points.
It was close for much of the game. Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead behind the scoring of Hield, but the Cyclones quickly usurped it from the Sooners. From there, a trend began. The Cyclones would look as if they were about to pull away, but Oklahoma would always answer. The second half ended on an improbable shot from Ryan Spangler from near the three point line that capped off one of those runs and made the game a 37-37 tie at the half.
In the second, the Cyclones jumped out to an advantage, but Oklahoma quickly tied the game again. With 10:12 left in the game, Isaiah Cousins was fouled on a layup that made the game 52-57, Cyclones. When he went to the line, it marked the first time Oklahoma had been to the stripe all game long, remarkable for a team that averaged 27.5 per game coming into the contest. Iowa State would go on to gain a 10 point lead, but the Sooners would fight back to trim it down to one with under two minutes to go. However, after a Georges Niang three pushed the Cyclone lead to six with under a minute to play, the game was out of reach.
Next up Oklahoma (17-5, 6-3) will take on West Virginia (13-9, 5-4) in Morgantown. Tip-off is set for 6 PM CST on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Want more Sooner hoops? Follow me on Twitter @ChandlerVessels