Oklahoma basketball: Romero Osby carries Sooners, but not far enough
COMMENTARY — OU senior fought as hard as he could, but he didn't have enough help as the Sooners were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by San Diego State.
PHILADELPHIA — Romero Osby walked with heavy feet toward the Oklahoma bench, hands on hips, head hung low.
He stopped and bent over at the waist.
Videoview all videos
Mar 23San Diego State sends Sooners packing from NCAA Tournament
Photoview all 26 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
This was a man worn down.
His fatigue after the final buzzer Friday was understandable — he carried these Sooners as far as they could go.
On a night when OU's return to the NCAA Tournament ended abruptly with a 70-55 loss to San Diego State, Osby did everything he could to prolong the Sooners' stay. He battled. He fought. But in the end, he didn't have enough help.
“I knew it could potentially be my last game,” Osby said, “and I had to go out and fight as hard as I can.”
He did that and then some.
Osby's had a fighter's stat line: 37 minutes, 22 points and eight rebounds.
You won't find a more determined player in college basketball than Osby. He hustles. He cares. He tries to do anything and everything that his team asks of him.
And Friday, the Sooners needed him to score and score and score. His teammates managed to hit only 14 of the 43 shots that they took, and their struggles in the second half were especially profound. They struggled to hit anything from outside. Things were so bad that in the first 13-plus minutes of the second half, they had only one basket scored outside the paint.
A turnaround jumper by Osby.
Osby, as it turned out, scored 13 of OU's first 18 points of the first half, the last of those coming on a 3-pointer with 6:52 left in the game. That shot pulled the Sooners to within five points, closer than their offensive performance should've allowed them to be.
But then, as if on cue, Buddy Hield airballed a 3.
Je'lon Hornbeak followed that by backrimming another 3.
Less than three minutes later, San Diego State had a double-digit lead that it wouldn't relinquish.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 17205Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9411Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9383Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 6982Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6824Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 6420Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 6294Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit