These last couple of games for the Oklahoma Sooners have been close nail-biters. This time Iowa State was the latest victim of Oklahoma’s successful season as the Sooners defeat the Cyclones 87-83 in a close game that was honestly controlled by Iowa State for about 32 minutes but the last eight minutes of the second half was dominated by the Sooner veterans. This was also the first game of conference play for Oklahoma.
It was a close game throughout, with no team really having a decisive advantage over another, but Iowa State seemed to control the pace of the entire game. Georges Niang did what he does best all game, scoring 29 points while collecting 8 rebounds but maybe scoring 34 points would gave pushed them past OU.
This was a defensive struggle for Oklahoma. Surely giving up 83 points didn’t please head coach Lon Kruger but he has to be happy that his squad stayed fighting and ended up pulling out a tough game against a tough, top 15 team. Not to mention, this is the first game Oklahoma has played since they went on break following their last one on Christmas against Harvard in the Diamond Head Classic.
Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins, Ryan Spangler, and Jordan Woodard combined for 71 points, along with 10 points from Dinjyl Walker. To be exact, Buddy scored 22 points, Isaiah finished with 15 points, all in the second half, Ryan scored 20 points and 12 rebounds off 8-of-13 shooting, and Jordan finished with 15 points on a efficient 5-of-9 shooting.
Those four players can all play at the next level whether it’s overseas or in the NBA. That’s a hard team to beat when you have four professional level players on one college squad. The Sooners are obviously not all hype like some tried to make it seem early on in the season. They’ve beaten a tough Villanova team, Creighton and now Iowa State. Monday night will be their next test in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup against Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas for their biggest test of this season.
This may be one of the best seasons so far for not just OU but for the entire Big 12. Oklahoma and Kansas are currently in the top three nationally, with 3 of the remaining 8 teams in the AP and Coaches top 25. Oh yeah, with this win Oklahoma is one of three undefeated teams in college basketball.
Photo by Associated Press