OU men's basketball: Sooners even Bedlam series with 77-64 win
As chants of “O-U” rang throughout Lloyd Noble Arena, Oklahoma’s Romero Osby thundered down a one-handed jam with over a minute left, providing the exclamation mark for the Sooners’ 77-64 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The win tied 2012’s iteration of the Bedlam series at one a piece and snapped OU’s six-game losing streak that began in Lawrence nearly a month ago.
“We needed a win desperately,” Osby said. “But, the fact that it’s Bedlam also does put a little significance on it to come out and try to beat Oklahoma State, because that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
The Sooners dominated a sloppy first half, holding OSU to just 12 points. Both teams combined for 17 first-half turnovers, and OSU shot an amateur 17 percent from the floor. At the half, sophomore guard Cameron Clark led the Sooners with 10 points on five-for-six shooting.
“For about a 20-minute stretch, that’s probably about as consistently aware as any [stretch] we’ve had,” coach Lon Kruger said.
Roles reversed to start the second, as the Cowboys jumped out to a 27-12 run led by senior guard Keiton Page, who only had a total of three points at halftime. The senior heated up in the second, though, finishing the game leading all scorers with 29 points. Page capped the Cowboy run by hitting a three with 13:05 left in the game to cut OU’s lead to three.
“We came out in the second half and ball-screened a little bit more, tried to be more aggressive in getting to the paint with drives-and-kicks,” Page said. “More shots fell down for us, but we just didn’t play very good defense.”
The Sooners quickly responded by putting together a run of their own. With 11:05 left, Osby drove to the basket and laid the ball in, sparking an 8-0 run that extinguished any hopes OSU had of making a comeback.
After the game, Kruger expressed his pride in his squad’s ability to respond to adversity, something the team has struggled with as of late.
“O-State made a nice run in the second half, but then we made a nice run.” Kruger said. “I’m really proud of our guys to respond the way they did to the Cowboys’ run.”
Junior guard Steven Pledger led the Sooners with 17 points and Osby had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Clark cooled down in the second half, shooting just 1-for-12 from the field, but still finished with 14 points.
The Sooners now have only three games left on the schedule before starting the big 12 tournament. The next one may be the biggest challenge of them all, as the team takes on No. 13 Baylor at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Waco.