By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
After blowing a 13-point second half lead, OU fell 73-66 to Iowa State in Kansas City. Here’s some rapid reaction:
OU’s Austin nightmares reappeared in Kansas City. Just like against Texas, the Sooners completely controlled the game for 30 minutes, comfortably leading by double-digits heading to the final stretch. Then, ISU shot itself right back in it. And OU had no answer. Down 60-48, the Cyclones went on a quick 12-0 run to tie it, starting with Georges Niang’s three and closing with this Will Clyburn stepback dagger:
It was over when…
…the Sooners failed to respond. Adversity hit, the streaky Cyclones started hitting shots, and OU backed into a hole. They couldn’t buy a basket or protect their own down the stretch. In all, Iowa State closed the game on a 25-6 run. Rough loss.
What it means?
OU’s solidified NCAA tourney status is now wavering. I still think the Sooners are in, but they’ll be sweating come Selection Sunday. The Texas and Iowa State collapses, which sandwiched the TCU nightmare, were all disastrous. Almost inexcusable at this time of the year. But does that override what came before it? We’ll see. As for the Cyclones, they should be securely in with this win.
Star of the game – Melvin Ejim
ISU’s shooters started hitting down the stretch, but big man Melvin Ejim kept them in it all game. At only 6-foot-6, Ejim led the Big 12 in rebounding, using his toughness and nose for the ball to dominate the paint. On Thursday, he had game-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds, consistently beating OU to loose balls late in the game.
Stats of note
-OU shot 28 percent in the second half.
-Iowa State went 1-of-12 from three in the first half and 6-of-14 in the second.
-The Sooners are 3-of-34 from three the past two games, both losses.
-Romero Osby had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Another solid game for OU’s best player.
Selection Sunday for the Sooners. And it should be an interesting one. As discussed before, their NCAA status is suddenly wavering, but likely remain on the right side of the bubble. Also a possibility: OU gets slated in the mid-week play-in games in Dayton.
Two CBS employees, two differing opinions. Although Gottlieb’s is admittedly bias.