Bedlam basketball: Sooners pull away for 77-68 win over Oklahoma State
The Sooners used a strong shooting second half from the arc Saturday, firing in 5-of-9 from 3-point range over the final 20 minutes, pulling away to a 77-68 win in Bedlam's Round 1.
NORMAN — Oklahoma's Amath M'Baye stood smirking behind Marcus Smart.
M'Baye and senior Sam Grooms had just turned a routine play — the inbounds pass — into a moment that brought every OU fan in Lloyd Noble Center to its feet.
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Grooms lofted the pass toward the basket and M'Baye slammed it down, knocking over OSU's Smart in the process. It was M'Baye's seventh straight point, but the play best summed up the first Bedlam basketball game of the season. Oklahoma circled the court giving high fives as Oklahoma State players hung their heads. OU defeated OSU, 77-68, in Norman.
“It was nice to back up that road win protecting your house,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said of OU's last two Big 12 victories. “You've got to protect the home court and sneak out as many road wins as you possibly can. We didn't give that road win back.”
The Cowboys hadn't expected the Sooners they got. They didn't expect the big plays or the eight 3-point shots OU made.
“We didn't expect the certain players that made threes to make them,” said Markel Brown, who was OSU's leading scorer with 19 points. “It hurt us. We adjusted in the game and somehow weren't still able to stop it. It wasn't good.”
OU senior Romero Osby, freshman Buddy Hield and M'Baye combined to go 17-of-32 from the paint, 4-of-6 from the arc and 9-of-10 from the line for a total of 47 points.
“We're just trying to learn from last year and bring some of the new guys along with us,” Osby said of a team who had a six-game losing streak last conference season. “We've got five seniors so we know how it is being in close Big 12 games and having to come down the stretch and just don't make enough plays to win the game.”
The game didn't start off close. Oklahoma opened the game with a 10-3 run courtesy of Hield, Osby and freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak.
Hornbeak scored five points early but quickly got into foul trouble and, according to Kruger, tweaked something. He only played 13 minutes. Grooms stepped up and directed the team to a 14-point lead, the largest of the game.
Ten players combined to give Oklahoma a 38-29 lead heading to halftime.
For the 14th game, Oklahoma did not have a runaway scorer but a team of starters willing to sit on the bench and seniors willing to guide the young squad.
“That is really unique and it is really unselfish of those guys,” Osby said.
The second half, though, was littered with steals and fouls, including a flagrant one called on OU. OSU began to drive harder and push Oklahoma more, which resulted in the Cowboys getting to the free-throw line. After making only one of four first-half free throws, OSU was 17 of 21 at the line in the second half.
The Cowboys brought the game within two midway through the second half. Then Steven Pledger hit a three. Two Oklahoma possessions later, Hield hit a three from the far right corner and fell into the bench.
As his bench picked him up and he took off running, Hield smiled. The Sooners built their lead back, and as they ran off the court with their fingers in the air, M'Baye's voice filled the tunnel.
“That's how you do it,” he shouted. “That's how it's done.”
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