Within nine minutes of the start of the game, Oklahoma got out to its largest lead of the game, 25-8, thanks to Osby’s consistency and Pledger’s fearlessness from beyond the arc.
“It’s a different mindset,” Pledger said about making big shots. “I don’t think everybody can do it in clutch moments or key moments in the game. People say they want to, but to do it is hard. The fact that I have confidence to go out and do it — it’s nothing to me.”
Pledger finished the game with 23 points. Osby led all scorers with 26 points. Eron Harris led West Virginia with 23 points.
Despite the large early lead, the Sooners had a hard time holding onto the ball and committed eight first-half turnovers. They allowed the Mountaineers a 6-0 run to end the first half.
The start of the second half was still a bit sloppy for the Sooners, but a 3-pointer by Amath M’Baye and a late scoring spurt by senior Andrew Fitzgerald put the game away.
“Amath made some big shots,” Osby said. “(Fitzgerald) had a five-point spurt and that kind of pulled us away.”
Pledger continued to drain threes, going 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and hit the final basket of the game — a 3-pointer.
“If I miss it, so what,” Pledger said of the mindset he’s had since when he was little. “That’s just always something I’ve held myself to.”
As the Sooners ran off the court, country music singer and Oklahoma basketball fan Toby Keith stood in front of the tunnel opening, waiting to shake their hands.
“20 wins,” Keith said. “20 wins baby. Let’s go get 21.”