Oklahoma knew Arkansas was going to try and push the pace Tuesday night.
The Sooners prepared for it. They came out playing slow.
But the Razorbacks still got the Sooners to speed up and commit errors as Arkansas won 81-78.
Oklahoma's slow pace lasted for about two minutes in the first half. Then the Sooners took off running down the court like the next shot was the game-winning buzzer beater.
It's happened in OU's last three games, against West Virginia, Oral Roberts and Northwestern State. The Sooners' faster pace led to nine turnovers in the first half and eight more in the second against Arkansas.
“Yeah we got off to a good start attacking,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Want to attack pressure. They do a good job to speed you up, do it under control. We were not quite strong enough with the ball or being aware enough.”
OU SHOWS IMPROVEMENT AFTER HALFTIME
The Sooners seemed to find their rhythm in the second half.
They improved in almost all areas of the game. Their first-half field goal percentage was 48.4 percent. It improved to 64 percent in the second half. The 3-point percentage skyrocketed from 12.5 to 71.4 percent.
Steven Pledger's was for 1-of-3 from beyond the arc in the first half, 3-of-4 in the second.
“Good movement,” Kruger said. “Attacked. Made plays for each other. Had good jumpers. Offense wasn't as much of a problem. But we also gave up 50-percent shooting.”
M'BAYE'S HIDE-AND-GO SEEK GAME
Amath M'Baye looked like he was about to play his statement game. He gave Oklahoma four off of its first six points via dunks.
Then he went scoreless the rest of the first half. M'Baye was a bit more noticeable in the second half, when he made two free throws in the first two minutes then a basket almost two minutes later.
M'Baye finished the game with 14 points.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson on Oklahoma's performance: “What a great game, great atmosphere. Probably played one of their better games. They wouldn't go away. We had an opportunity to distance ourselves and we couldn't. That's a mark of a well-coached team. Credit to their seniors — Osby and Pledger. Stepped up with some big plays at the right time.”