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Oklahoma men's basketball: Win over Baylor proves Sooners are making progress

Buddy Hield's late-game shots, Steven Pledger's 3-pointers, Amath M'Baye's 20 points — everyone is contributing to the Sooners' success.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: January 31, 2013
/articleid/3750753/1/pictures/1941423">Photo - Oklahoma 's Amath M'Baye (22) smiles as he runs back up court after sinking a three-point basket in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Waco, Texas. Baylor's Cory Jefferson, left rear, and Pierre Jackson, right rear, are shown behind on the play. Oklahoma won 74-71. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ORG XMIT: TXTG114
Oklahoma 's Amath M'Baye (22) smiles as he runs back up court after sinking a three-point basket in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Waco, Texas. Baylor's Cory Jefferson, left rear, and Pierre Jackson, right rear, are shown behind on the play. Oklahoma won 74-71. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ORG XMIT: TXTG114

It was a statement game the NCAA committee look at when considering the Sooners for March Madness. OU (14-5 overall, 5-2 Big 12) is hoping to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years.

Senior Romero Osby said it was a game the Sooners can learn from. The Sooners' team captain said Wednesday night's game showed the team can play for 35 minutes. But the last five minutes, which included turnovers and losing a lead, remains on the “things to work on” list.

“We can be really good, but we've got to continue to work,” Osby said of what he told his teammates after Wednesday's win. “Like coach said, we've got to embrace the grind every day and know that it's going to be tough. It's not going to get easy. Championships are hard to win.”

There's still a long way to go, including February,  a month that hasn't been kind to the Sooners. OU has gone 3-21 over the past three Februaries.

While Osby said February has usually been a month of decline for the Sooners, he feels like they are setting themselves up for a month of positive production.

“Kansas State is a big game. Kansas next week is going to be a big game. Matter of fact, TCU is a big game,” M'Baye said. “If you win against Kansas State and you lose against TCU, you know? ... You've got to treat every game like a must win.”


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