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Oklahoma basketball: Sooners tie NCAA mark with perfect free throw performance in win

Romero Osby had 22 points and nine rebounds and Oklahoma tied the NCAA record for free throws without a miss in an 86-69 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, Modified: March 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm •  Published: March 2, 2013

— They wanted to make them all. They just didn’t realize they had.

Saturday night, Oklahoma went perfect on the free throw line, shooting an NCAA-record tying 34-for-34. That’s matched only by Samford in 1990 and UC-Irvine in 1981.

“It’s been a good free throw shooting team,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said of the Sooners this season. “That’s an extreme.”

The Sooners were sound from the floor, shooting 44.2 percent, and found opportunities to help each other, putting up 17 assists to five turnovers. Beating the Cyclones at home also will keep the Sooners alive in tournament talk. And on senior day, the seniors showed stability from the charity stripe as the Sooners beat IowaState 86-69 on Saturday.

After their Saturday performance, the Sooners are now ranked first in the Big 12 in conference play in free throw percentage, making 264 of 339 for 77.8 percent.

Senior forward Romero Osby, a 63-percent free throw shooter during his time at MississippiState, went 10-for-10 from the line. After Saturday, he is an 80.1-percent free throw shooter this season.

Making all of his charity shots is something Osby has said he doesn’t like to think about, but he does get mad at himself when he misses.

He smiled when a reporter brought up the team’s 34-for-34 performance.

“You want to make them all, but I didn’t really realize that we hadn’t missed,” he said. “I just wanted to focus.”

To the senior captain, going perfect was just one more step in his team regrouping like he told them they needed to on the plane flight back from that overtime loss at Texas.

Then there was senior Andrew Fitzgerald, a 63.8 percent free throw shooter his freshman year, who went 8-of-8.

Senior guard Sam Grooms went 4-for-4 while fellow senior guard Steven Pledger went 2-for-2.

Including his four free throws, Grooms contributed 19 points and six assists. He continued, like the few games before Texas, to drive to the hoop, make shots and play beyond what Sooner fans are accustomed to seeing from him. He only had one turnover.

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