Oklahoma basketball: Sooners turn to defense to beat Texas A&M for seventh straight victory

The Sooners had to rely on defense — and plenty of bad Texas A&M shooting — to escape the Toyota Center with a 64-52 win.
by Ryan Aber Published: December 21, 2013


photo - Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, left, reaches for the ball from Texas A&M’s Fabyon Harris during first-half action on Saturday in Houston. AP Photo
Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, left, reaches for the ball from Texas A&M’s Fabyon Harris during first-half action on Saturday in Houston. AP Photo

Texas A&M, though, was much worse.

The Sooners' zone kept giving the Aggies shots, but Texas A&M couldn't take advantage. Texas A&M hit just 5 of 34 shots before the break and the Sooners led 23-14.

Oklahoma had scored less than 40 points in a half just three times this season and hadn't scored less than 31 in any half before Saturday's first.

Oklahoma had turned the ball over more than 16 times in a game just once.

And still, the Sooners led by seven.

“It was really crazy,” Woodard said. “We really just wanted to rely on our defense. Our defense anchored us to the win.”

The Sooners turned the ball over 10 more times than Texas A&M (22-12) and still managed to outscore the Aggies off turnovers, 13-10.

Oklahoma got going a bit offensively in the second half, helped by strong rebounding by Ryan Spangler and Tyler Neal in particular. Spangler equaled his career high with 13 rebounds and Neal set his with 10. Even guard Isaiah Cousins had seven.

“That's been a big thing that coach's been talking about,” Neal said. “Especially when we're in that 1-3-1 or another zone, the guards need to be in there and rebound it and be strong with it so we can push it like we want to.”

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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