Bedlam basketball: Sooners' Frank Booker plays the hero role in a strange Bedlam game

Despite the trappings — Travis Ford wore an orange blazer, OSU's 2004 Final Four warriors were feted at halftime, ESPN dispatched Holly Rowe and Fran Fraschilla — this was not the holy war you'd expect out of teams that a mere two weeks ago were both ranked in the top 25.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 15, 2014

Ford had little to say afterward. Foul shooting doomed his squad (OSU made just 12 of 22), which otherwise played more solid than it had in several games, including some with Smart.

“He gets them going,” OU's Ryan Spangler admitted. “But other guys for them today stepped up. Everybody for them was hitting shots. They were just as hard to guard. He's a great player, but they were good today.”

Good. But not good enough. The Cowboys now are 16-9 overall, 4-8 in the Big 12, and from fans to Ford to the Five Guys roster, everyone is realizing that the NCAA Tournament, much less any kind of deep run, is fast escaping OSU's grasp.

But Booker said, “I think the fans still were their sixth man. They were loud. They were crazy. But we hung in there as a team and played basketball.”

That last part is true. The Cowboys got up 18-11 early, but Tyler Neal scored eight points in 2 1/2 minutes to give the Sooners the lead. The Cowboys led 54-46 midway through the second half, but Booker's three 3-pointers helped reduce the margin. The final trey, with 3:04 to go, brought OSU within 67-65 and set the stage for Hield's barrage.

“I had full confidence every time I shoot the ball,” said Booker, whose 15 points were a career high. “On that certain one, someone kicked it to me, and was ready to shoot. I let it go and it went in.

“It was a beautiful win, beautiful team-gathered win.”

All Bedlam wins are beautiful. Especially on the road.

But if Booker sticks around four years, he will experience more electric Bedlam than he did Saturday, when Gallagher-Iba hosted a rarity: the play trumped the atmosphere.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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