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Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners hold off Ohio

Oklahoma defeated Ohio, a Sweet 16 team from last season, 74-63 at home in the Sooners' first game since a crushing loss to Stephen F. Austin 11 days earlier.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: December 29, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma's Steven Pledger (2) goes past Ohio's Walter Offutt (3) during a NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Ohio at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Steven Pledger (2) goes past Ohio's Walter Offutt (3) during a NCAA college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Ohio at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

— Oklahoma's lead began to dwindle, but Cam Clark and his teammates decided to change that.

This was how the Sooners wanted to play, not just one player making baskets but “sharing” the glory.

That's the word Amath M'Baye used after Oklahoma defeated Ohio, a Sweet 16 team from last season, 74-63 at home in the Sooners' first game since a crushing loss to Stephen F. Austin 11 days earlier.

“Every time someone was open, we had the ball in his hands,” M'Baye said. “It's beautiful to just see it transfer to a game. We had these times where we would do really good in practice and it wouldn't be able to transfer to the game.

“We played exactly the way we wanted to play and exactly the way we practiced.”

The Sooners (8-3) started the game on defense the way Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger asked them to play in the first 11 games — physically and aggressively.

While OU shot poorly from the field, going 10 of 33 in the first half, the Sooners never fell far behind. Ohio's biggest lead was by five points.

Instead of freshman Buddy Hield providing a spark to Oklahoma from the bench, he provided one from the start of the game, earning his first career start. He contributed one assist and two steals in the first half and was constantly in D.J. Cooper's face. Cooper still was able to score eight first-half points and finished with 14 points to lead the Bobcats (8-5).

The first half, though, was carried by Oklahoma's most consistent player this season — Romero Osby. He ended the first half with a game-high 12 points.

With the game tied at 29 to open the second half, Osby gave Oklahoma two more points off free throws, and his teammates took it from there.

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