Rowdy and rancorous. Those are probably the two words that best define bedlam basketball. Over the past couple of seasons however, the annual rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State has lacked that hostility that makes bedlam basketball so entertaining, lackluster seasons for both teams perhaps partially to blame. But Saturday afternoon, it all came back. In 40 minutes of chipping, fighting and scrapping, Oklahoma came out the victor, defeating their bitter foes by a score of 77-68 at the Lloyd Noble Center. The victory marks the ninth straight for the Sooners against Oklahoma State when playing at home and improves their record to 11-3 (2-0).
Buddy Hield was all over the court for the Sooners in their victory (Photo from Soonersports.com)
Buddy Hield paved the way for the Sooner victory, affecting the game in a multitude of ways. In just his fourth career start, the freshman is fitting in just fine, today was no different. Hield scored 15 points on 6 for 11 shooting while also adding five assists and four rebounds. He was also very effective on the defensive end, aiding in the guarding of Cowboy super frosh Marcus Smart. The Sooners were able to contain Smart to a below average day from the field, as he shot just 30%. He was inefficient, scoring just 10 points, turning the ball over a total of four times, and also committing four fouls.
In the post, the Sooners were just as good. Romero Osby led Oklahoma with 17 points while shooting 50% from the field and grabbing three rebounds. His partner in crime, Amath M’Baye did just as much damage, scoring 15 points, and grabbing five rebounds. He was also very active in the passing lane, swiping two steals. M’Baye also threw down a momentum-shifting alley-oop dunk late in the second that brought the Lloyd Noble crowd to their feet. Check Sportcenter’s top 10 for that later tonight.
Steven Pledger made it four Sooners who scored in double figured tonight, adding 11 points of his own. But Pledger also was the surprising leader in rebounds between both teams, soaring for nine boards. Bearing in mind this anomaly, along with his scoring and two steals, it was a solid game for Pledger.
Off the bench Sam Grooms came in and provided a leader and someone to pace the offense. The Cowboys employed a full-court press at times, yet Grooms only turned the ball over once. Overall, he finished the game with six points and three assists in 27 minutes.
Free throw shooting and three point shooting are where the Sooneres outdid the Cowboys most substantially. The Sooners shot 61.5% form three compared to just 28.6% from the Pokes, and OU 90.5% from the charity stripe to OSU’s 72%
The Sooners got off to a fast start, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead after a three point play by Romero Osby. On the ensuing possession, Markel Brown would drill a three for the Cowboys to cut the deficit to four, only to be answered by Jelon Hornbeak, who would hit a three of his own to put the margin back at seven. Some instant offense off the bench from Cameron Clark and Sam Grooms would increase the lead to double digits, and Oklahoma led by as many as 14 in the half.
Over the final 4:35 of the first half, Oklahoma State, propelled by three long range buckets, would outscored the Sooners 11-6. Markel Brown drilled a triple with 22 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to single digits, and Romero Osby hit a buzzer beater on Oklahoma’s final possession of the half, to lead 38-29 at the break.
The Sooners started the second half much like they did the first, on fire. They quickly regained their double digit advantage, and after a three from Jelon Hornbeak, matched their largest lead of 14.
However, after a couple of free throws and a quick steal by Smart who dished it to Brown for the easy layup, the Cowboys offense started to show signs of life. With help from a few inadvertent Sooner miscues, they opened up a 12-3 run. Before long, the Sooner lead had diminished to just five. Then four, then three, then all the way down to two with 9:34 left to play.
Shortly after, Steven Pledger, as has become a theme this season, showed up just when Oklahoma needed him too. The senior nailed a three to help his team regain the momentum, and Oklahoma began rebuilding their lead. After that three, Pledger was fouled in the act of shooting another three and made all three of his freebies, and then Hield got in on the action with a three pointer of his own.
After that, there were a few more scares—the Cowboys cut it to just seven with 26 seconds left, however time was not on their side and Oklahoma successfully went the entire game without relinquishing their lead.
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