At first it looked like the Sooners were going to walk out of the Staples Center with an easy win over No.25 USC, but not so fast. The Trojans gave the Sooners all they had til the end, but it wasn’t enough to stop OU from pulling out a stressful 85-83 win at the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Los Angeles.
Sooners freshman point guard Trae Young is the nations leading scorer so far this season with 28 points per game, and he continued to be lights out. He’d finish the night with 29 points. 20 of those points came in the first half. He’d also finish with 9 assists.
Christian James was another impressive performer on the night for the Sooners. He’d finish the evening with 19 points. James was having a hard time missing from three tonight. He hit an impressive 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Brady Manek would finish the game in double figures with 15 points.
The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders from the opening tip-off. Firing three after three and pushing the pace. The Trojans didn’t have an answer as they allowed the Sooners to take them out of their half-court comfort zone.
The difference here was the Sooners would hit 48% of their 3-point shots. They’d end the night with 15 3-pointers made. The stat that allowed the Trojans to come back from an 18 point second half deficit, was the Sooners inability to hit from the charity stripe. OU finished the night only making 63% from the line. They’d even miss their last three free throws, which allowed the Trojans the last shot of the game to win it, but unfortunately they missed.
The strength of this Trojans team is their frontcourt. This strength was used exactly how’d they like it to be. The Trojans would out rebound the Sooners 32 to 45. The Trojans finally slowed the Sooners down in the second half and made them play half court offense rather than their fast pace style. It allowed the Trojans bigs to take full advantage of the size and scoring ability in the paint.
You could almost say the Sooners got lucky here tonight.
This is the third straight loss for the Trojans and should knock them clear out of the top 25. On the other hand, the Sooners move on to 7-1 and should be jumping into the top 25 on Monday.
Impressive Stat of the Night
This was Young’s sixth straight game scoring 28 or more points.
The Sooners travel north to Wichita, Kansas to take on the No.6 Shockers. The Sooners are currently on a five game win streak and seem to have passed a crucial test tonight in LA, but the Shockers will let us know how good these Sooners really are.