Oklahoma basketball: Stephen F. Austin knocks off Sooners

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: December 18, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma's Je'lon Hornbeak (5) and Andrew Fitzgerald (4) walk off the court after a college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Stephen F. Austin University at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Oklahoma lost 56-55. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Je'lon Hornbeak (5) and Andrew Fitzgerald (4) walk off the court after a college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Stephen F. Austin University at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Oklahoma lost 56-55. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“I threw the second one a little too hard. Frustrating moment right now for me.”

As Hield spoke with eyes fresh from tears, Pledger stood staring at the tablecloth while Osby closed his eyes and shook his head.

“I tried to tell Buddy, ‘Don't worry about missing free throws because we shouldn't have put him in that situation,'” Osby said. “We can't blame anybody. Stephen F. Austin is walking out of here with their heads high. ... That keeps hitting home right now. Just frustrated.”

Pledger and Hornbeak scored 12 points apiece to lead the Sooners. Taylor Smith had 14 for SFA.

“I just wanted to get midrange shots,” Pledger said. He finished the game 6 of 14 on field goals. “That gets everybody going. I wanted to hit shots so we would start coming back. When they see me going, I know the team's going to follow suit.”

For the second straight game, Kruger opted to go to his bench early, first replacing starter Isaiah Cousins with Hield only a minute and a half in.

Then, due to Osby racking up early fouls, Kruger was left to switch up his rotation. By the end of the first half, eight Oklahoma players had scored, and Kruger had played multiple rotations of players, fitting them here and there to try to make Oklahoma's basketball puzzle start to fall into place.

“It's frustrating because you want to be out there helping the team,” Osby said about watching much of the first half from the bench. “I know Fitzgerald and Amath have experience, guys like that. I knew they'd be able to take care of the job.”

Yet for the second straight game, M'Baye didn't produce. He took two shots and made one basket, a layup for Oklahoma's first points of the game.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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