You are the owner of this article.

OU men's basketball: Role players come up big in Oklahoma's 90-61 win over Iowa State

  • 0
  • 2 min to read
Sooners and Kruger

The Sooners huddle around OU head coach Lon Kruger during the game against Iowa State on Feb. 12.

With 12:18 remaining in the game, junior guard Alondes Williams had the ball at the top of key with his team leading 58-51.

The JUCO-transfer rejected a screen from senior forward Kristian Doolittle and drove hard to the basket. Iowa State freshman guard Caleb Grill came off his man to help contest Williams but it was too late. Williams cocked the ball back for a one-handed tomahawk and the 4,240 fans inside the Lloyd Noble Center erupted.

“Defensively, we started pressuring the ball and got turnovers,” sophomore guard Jamal Bieniemy said, “Alondes picked it up in the second half and played really well in the beginning of the second half and gave us a boost. I think all that combined helped us push the lead up.”

Oklahoma would go on a 30-10 run following Williams’ dunk, eventually winning the game, 90-61, giving them their second-straight win over a conference foe and the largest margin of victory in Big 12 play since 2015.

“Alondes opened the second half with great energy and attacking, he made a lot of good plays,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said, “That really got us started out of the gate in the second half.”

Williams finished the game with 14 points on 5-12 shooting and 1-3 from behind the 3-point line to go along with six rebounds in 22 minutes of playing time. But Williams wasn’t the only Sooner to catch fire in the second half.

Oklahoma ended the game with six players in double figures for the first time this season. In the first half, the Sooners were a one-man show with Doolittle scoring 15 of his 20 total points on 4-9 shooting heading into the break and held a 40-36 lead.

In the second half, the Sooners benefited from a balanced offensive attack, which allowed them to finish the game with 90 points for the first time against a conference opponent since last season.

“They were moving the ball well,” Kruger said, “I think when they were doubling Brady in the post and the receivers did a good job of finding open areas and Brady did a good job of finding them.”

The Sooners’ ball movement allowed players like Williams, redshirt junior guard Austin Reaves, junior forward Brady Manek and sophomore guard Jamal Bieniemy involved in the offense. 

Oklahoma shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and was 6-11 from behind the arc while allowing the Cyclones to score on just 34 percent of their field goal attempts. Iowa State finished the second half shooting 3-12 from the 3-point line.

“I think the guys got great satisfaction from the way they played,” Kruger said, “moving the ball for each other, stepping up making shots, making plays for each other. I thought defensively we kind of turned it up a little bit which created some offense.”

Iowa State was without their leading scorer, sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton. Junior guard Terrence Lewis shouldered most of the offensive load for the Cyclones, scoring 17 points on 7-9 shooting.

Oklahoma forced Iowa State into 15 turnovers which they turned into 21 fast break points. Meanwhile, the Sooners had just six turnovers which were turned into six Iowa State points.

“(Turnovers are) just something we focus on every day in practice and we just came out and executed well,” Bieniemy said.

Oklahoma will take on No. 3 Kansas at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN in Lawrence.

Sign up for our newsletters

Load comments