OU freshman guard Isaiah Cousins struggled in the last month of the season.
On Friday night in Philadelphia, it seemed early that Cousins left all his struggles back in Big 12 Country.
Coming into the game, Cousins scored just two points and committed nine turnovers from OU's Feb. 16 game against Oklahoma State to their final game on March 14 against Iowa State.
In Oklahoma's first game in the NCAA Tournament, the Sooner freshman played 10 minutes, had six points and no turnovers. Just in the first half.
But after halftime, he didn't score again.
Cousins shot 2-of-6, played 12 minutes in the second half, had one rebound and one assist and committed two turnovers.
PLEDGER AND HORNBEAK FIND EARLY FOUL TROUBLE
Jamaal Franklin proved to be a tough matchup and gave both Oklahoma guard Steven Pledger and Je'lon Hornbeak trouble in the first half.
The Sooners' senior and freshman were both whistled for a pair of fouls and forced Kruger to go to his bench for junior Cam Clark and freshman Buddy Hield.
Oklahoma had nine fouls to San Diego State's three in the first half.
Ultimately, the early and abundant fouls didn't hurt the Sooners because most of the fouls came off the ball.
In the second half, though, the fouls began to hurt. Kruger had four players with at least three fouls with nine minutes remaining — Hornbeak, Romero Osby and Buddy Hield with three, and Pledger with four. Many of the fouls came from different players attempting to guard Franklin.
The Sooners ended the game with 20 personal fouls to the Aztecs' 11.
“When the separation was created, I thought Franklin did a good job of getting into the paint and creating opportunities for others as well as scoring himself,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “He's just a terrific all-around player and a tough matchup.”
SOONERS WATCHED FGCU/GEORGETOWN
Sitting in their locker room, Oklahoma watched one Cinderella story unfold Friday.
The Sooners watched the Florida Golf Coast-Georgetown matchup that was happening at the Wells Fargo Center where they were about to play.
It was turned off with about four minutes to go so OU could focus and not think ahead to the next game, but by that point the Eagles were up by 14.
WHERE WAS FITZGERALD?
OU senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald had dreamed of the NCAA Tournament since he was an Oklahoma recruit in high school in Maryland, and when Fitzgerald found out the NCAA Tournament game was going to be in Philly, he got excited that his family and friends would be able to see him play.
But the senior mainly stayed in his warm-ups, watching next to the latest starter that was sat for a rest. He wasn't injured, though.
“For a matchup standpoint and to get Drew in there means getting Roe out of there,” Kruger said. “Roe was really one of the bright spots. We had something going there. Just didn't happen for Drew that way.”
Fitzgerald finished his final game with three minutes of playing time.