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OU basketball: Poor shooting dooms Sooners

Oklahoma is shooting 33.9 percent from the field in Big 12 play.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: January 9, 2012

The Sooners received a season-high 20 points from Clark Blair and a season-high 18 points from Osby. Neither one was lighting it up, but their teammates shot a combined 29.2 percent.

No player has struggled as much as junior shooting guard Steven Pledger, the Sooners' leading scorer who entered conference play as the Big 12's second-leading scorer.

Against OSU, Pledger was 3-of-13 from the field. He scored a season-low nine points.

In three Big 12 games, Pledger is shooting 28.5 percent after shooting better than 60 percent in OU's first 10 games.

“We've got to work to get him better shots. He has to work a little harder to get some separation,” Kruger said. “It's a combination of executing things better. Good players, good shooters naturally are going to get the attention of defenders. As teams start pointing to him he has to prepare for that.”

Another lengthy drought, similar to a loss Saturday against Kansas, put the Sooners in a hole.

In Monday's Bedlam loss, the Sooners clawed to within 21-20 but the Cowboys answered with a 14-2 run to lead 35-22 at halftime.

“Late in the first half, when they popped a little bit of a margin, we played from behind the rest of the way,” Kruger said. “We just could never get quite over the hump. We have to play harder. We have to get on the floor after loose balls... especially when you're not shooting well.”