OU basketball: Sooners exorcise demons from Texas' comeback win with rout of Iowa State

BERRY TRAMEL COMMENTARY — It wasn't exactly the same situation, but it was close. Oklahoma up big in the second half, trying to fend off a challenge. On Wednesday, the Sooners wilted and lost to Texas. On Saturday, OU closed Iowa State out, routing the Cyclones 86-69.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 2, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma's Sam Grooms (1) drives past Iowa State Cyclone's Korie Lucious (13) as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men play the Iowa State Cyclones in NCAA, college basketball at Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, March 2, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Sam Grooms (1) drives past Iowa State Cyclone's Korie Lucious (13) as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men play the Iowa State Cyclones in NCAA, college basketball at Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, March 2, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma's lead wasn't 22 at the 7:54 mark of the second half Saturday. But it was 21 with 9:37 left in the game.

Close enough.

The Austin debacle hung over Lloyd Noble Center like smoke after a pyrotechnic show. The Sooners' blown lead at Texas was not the kind of game easily forgotten. Certainly not in three days. Maybe not in three million.

Even after the blessed relief of another game, Austin reminders remained.

Iowa State players reminded Romero Osby a couple of times as he stood at the foul line down the stretch. Sooner players reminded themselves during timeout huddles.

Finish. We've been here before. Play out the game. Don't let down.

This time, the Sooners didn't. They routed Iowa State 86-69, at least partially wiping out the stench of the overtime loss at Texas on Wednesday night, when OU led 67-45 with less than eight minutes left.

“Really proud of our guys,” said OU coach Lon Kruger. “The ability to bounce back and play like they did today is a tribute to the leadership, especially Romero Osby.”

The stoic elder statesman, one of the few Sooners who didn't wilt down the stretch at Texas, collected his teammates after that game with a stern message. Regroup. Focus on the first 32 minutes in Austin. Learn from the last seven.

“It was a frustrating trip on the way back,” Osby said. “In our minds, we knew we had missed a great opportunity.”

But Osby pointed out this wasn't like football. No waiting a week. The Sooners got to play again quickly.

“Had a chance to play a good Iowa State team at home,” Osby said. “Good motivation, against a good team, and we needed the win.”

The Sooners took care of business early. A 12-2 lead barely five minutes into the game. A 14-point lead late in the first half. A 20-point lead barely three minutes into the second half.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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