OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma defeated Mississippi State, 63-62, on Saturday in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Sooners entered the game following a loss to No. 1 Baylor on Monday in Waco, Texas. During that game, Oklahoma allowed 12 first half offensive rebounds by the Bears which they were able to convert into 11 second chance points.
The Sooners would also have their hands full down low against the Bulldogs and came into the game with a focus on limiting that area. Due to this, the Sooners were able to get out to an early lead in the first half.
Here are three takeaways for Oklahoma’s win against Mississippi State.
Attacking the paint
The Bulldogs came into the game ranked No. 13 in the country in rebound margin at 8.4. The Sooners were able to limit Mississippi State’s rebounding by attacking the paint early which put Mississippi State sophomore forward Reggie Perry on the bench with three fouls with 12:47 remaining in the first half.
Perry wouldn’t see the floor again until there was 16:42 remaining in the second half. Perry finished the game with seven points on 3-7 shooting and five rebounds. Oklahoma’s plan to attack Perry frustrated the Georgia-native and limited a big part of the Bulldogs team.
The Bulldogs pulled down nine offensive rebounds and out rebounded the Sooners 39-31, but the Sooners were able to limit their second chance opportunities by staying active on defense.
Mississippi State made some adjustments in the second half that allowed them to do a better job of using their rebounding advantage. All nine of Mississippi State’s second chance points came in the second half.
Improving half-court offense
One of the biggest improvements from the Sooners following their loss in Waco was shot selection. The Sooners were able to control the flow of the game through their half-court offense and shot 40-percent from the floor and 30-percent from the three point line.
The Sooners took better shots against the Bulldogs but they eventually stopped falling, giving Mississippi State the opportunity for a comeback. Junior forward Brady Manek continued his hot shooting streak with 18 points on 6-11 shooting including six rebounds and a block.
Meanwhile, senior forward Kristian Doolittle was unable to score the 16 points he needed to surpass 1,000 career points. He finished with 8 points on 4-12 shooting.
Role players making an impact
Oklahoma benefited from some help off the bench, specifically junior guard Alondes Williams who scored a career-high of 14 points on 5-8 shooting including 3-3 from behind the 3-point line.
Redshirt junior forward Kur Kuath was given the difficult task of guarding Perry when he came into the game and did a solid job preventing him from clogging the lane. Kuath registered four points on 2-3 shooting with two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 12 minutes of action.
Oklahoma will take on Kansas State at 7 p.m. CT on Jan. 29 in on ESPN+.