STILLWATER — Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel credited Oklahoma State's aggressive play as a key factor in the Cowboys overcoming a 15-point deficit to rally for an 81-75 win Saturday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
But one intriguing question after the Bedlam loss was, how good could the Sooners be if all five starters ever got hot at the same time?
“We haven't had that yet this season,” Capel said. “It would be nice if we could get all four or five of those guys clicking, going at the same time. We're definitely going to need that the next game (against No. 3 Texas).”
Andrew Fitzgerald and Cade Davis scored 18 points each, but the Sooners couldn't produce enough additional offense to match the Cowboys' free-throw barrage.
Three days after scoring 25 points in a win over Baylor, freshman guard Cameron Clark didn't score against OSU, going 0-of-3 from the field.
A week after scoring 38 points in a win at Iowa State, sophomore guard Steven Pledger was sitting on zero with 10 minutes left before finishing with nine points.
Point guard Carl Blair averaged 5.4 assists during a four-game winning streak but had zero assists with six turnovers.
“Credit Oklahoma State,” Capel said. “They got 15 offensive rebounds. They forced our starting point guard into (mistakes). They took Cameron out of the game. ... I just feel this was a missed opportunity. We got off to a really good start, which is important in a hostile building.”
OU led 21-6 less than seven minutes into the game. The Cowboys closed to within 42-39 at halftime and finally took the lead for good with 15:30 to play.
The Sooners (12-10, 4-4 in league play) stayed within striking range — trailing 77-73 with 25.2 seconds left — but would never lead again.
Capel relies heavily on his five starters but was forced to play his bench more than usual due to foul trouble.
Pledger drew two fouls the first two minutes and sat much of the first half. Davis sat seven minutes in the second half with four fouls.
The fouls also put OSU at the line. The Cowboys attempted 44 free throws.
“We couldn't defend without fouling somebody,” Davis said. “Half their points in the first half came on free throws. And they did a good job of knocking those down. The second half we made a little bit of a run but continued to foul. They out-toughed us.”
The other pivotal stat was OSU out-rebounded the Sooners 38-28.
“We weren't disciplined. We weren't tough,” Fitzgerald said. “When it comes to these rivalry games, you have to be tough mentally and maybe a little bit physically. Everything was going well. If we could have sustained that lead (longer) we probably would have came out with a win today.”