Oklahoma (16-8, 6-5 Big 12) took down, 90-61, Iowa State (10-14, 3-8 Big 12) in Norman on Wednesday.
This was the second meeting between the two teams this season. Iowa State took the first meeting in Ames, 81-68, due in large part to the Cyclones' sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton’s 15 points, eight assists and three steals on the night. However, Haliburton suffered a wrist injury in ISU’s last outing that sidelined him for this game and the rest of the season.
Behind a strong shooting performance and stout defensive play, the Sooners were able to take advantage of Haliburton’s absence and improve their home record to 11-1.
Here are 3 takeaways from the Sooners’ win:
Sooners capitalize at the line
Iowa State found itself in foul trouble early on, committing 10 fouls in the first half of play. Finding themselves in double bonus with just under five minutes to go in the first, the Sooners made 11 of their 12 free throw attempts heading into half, leading 40-36. The Cyclones had a total of five different players commit two or more fouls in half one.
This trend continued into the second half as Iowa State fouled eight more times. The Sooners ended the night 17-of-20 from the line. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle was 7-of-8 on free throws, the most of any Sooner.
One recurring issue for this Oklahoma team has been its inability to out-rebound its opponent. That once again appeared to be the case early on in this game as, despite having the edge on the glass in the first few opening minutes, the Sooners entered half tied with the Cyclones in total rebounds with 17 a piece.
However, the second half was a much different story. Despite heading into half only leading by two possessions, Oklahoma’s dominance on the glass in half time allowed the Sooners to turn this one into a blowout. They finished with a 39-27 edge on the boards. Sophomore guard Jamal Bieniemy lead the Sooners with seven rebounds.
Kristian Doolittle's scoring
Just one game removed from his 27-point performance against No. 13 West Virginia, senior forward Kristian Doolittle was once again a scoring threat for Oklahoma. After leading the Sooners in scoring at halftime with 15 points, Doolittle ended the night with 20 points on 6-13 shooting. He also was 1-3 from 3 and had six rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Sooners.
As the Sooners prepare for a two-game stretch that will pit them against two top-five teams, Oklahoma desperately needs more performances like this from Doolittle.
The Sooners return to play at 11 a.m. on Feb. 15 to take on No. 3 Kansas in Lawrence.