Missouri 73, OU 64: OU men stumble down the stretch

By John Helsley Modified: March 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm •  Published: March 5, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. — With time running out and a frenzied Missouri crowd sensing victory, the familiar fan chant rang throughout Mizzou Arena: "Over-rated.”

Trite, for sure. Yet for the first time this season, Oklahoma suddenly finds itself needing to prove otherwise.

The No. 4-ranked Sooners fell 73-64 Wednesday night in men’s basketball, losing for the third time in four games. And unlike those other two losses — setbacks to Texas and Kansas that carried the asterisk of a Blake Griffin concussion — this was an OU squad at full strength.

And it was an OU squad that was fully beaten, never really giving an indication that it could stop tripping over itself long enough to make a real run at the Tigers. The Sooners committed 22 turnovers and trailed by double-digits regularly in the second half.

Reason for concern, with the season at a moment when momentum can be fickle?

"It’s always a concern,” said Sooners coach Jeff Capel. "But we’ll figure it out. We’ve been really good all year.

"We’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road, two a few games ago without Blake. And we knew we had a tough stretch down the stretch, a tough set of games on the road. But we’ll get better.”

They’ll need to — and fast.

The Sooners, once 25-1 and bidding to become the nation’s No. 1 team, now sit 26-4 with a surging Oklahoma State team headed for Norman on Saturday.

That’s one game to right things before postseason play, where, for now, the Sooners hold the No. 3 seed for the league tournament.

"We’ll be all right,” Griffin insisted after the game. "We’ll be fine. This isn’t the end of the world.

"We’ve got a conference game, the conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament.



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