By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
OU beat Oklahoma State 77-68 in Bedlam round one Saturday in Norman. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Lacking offensive rhythm and energy, OSU fell into an early double-digit hole. But an effective press trap brought the Cowboys back midway through the second half, cutting the OU lead to as little as two. And it looked like we were in for a dramatic finish. But the Sooners, sparked by Amath M’Baye, quickly cut off momentum. The junior transfer had his best sequence since arriving in Norman, going on a personal 7-0 run in highlight fashion.
It was over when…
…M’Baye ended his impressive spurt with a SportsCenter top 10 throwdown off an inbound, putting the Sooners up 13 with four minutes to go. Lloyd Noble Center erupted (no, seriously) and, given the Cowboys offensive struggles, the game was essentially put away.
Star of the game – Lon Kruger
There aren’t any stars on the Sooners, but Kruger has put together a legit tournament-level 10-deep rotation. Everyone has a role and everyone plays it well. That’s great coaching. And it was on full display Saturday in Norman.
Laboring through 27 foul-plagued minutes, Marcus Smart had the worst performance of his freshman season (considering the circumstances). He never found rhythm, due to the fouls (some questionable), or his shooting stroke (3-10 from the field and four turnovers). Just a rough game during a great season.
Stat of the game
Travis Ford is now 0-5 in Norman and 1-20 in his last 21 Big 12 road games.
OU rides this momentum into a favorable Wednesday home game against Texas Tech, with a great chance to move to 3-0 in Big 12 play. Meanwhile, the Cowboys (1-2 in conference) get a week to stew on this one before a get well game next Saturday, also against the Red Raiders.