The Oklahoma Sooners were up to their usual conference antics of winning this season, however it would come from a bit of an unconventional source against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. This victory would mark the fifth consecutive win for Oklahoma to go along with a 3-0 start in conference.
In a game in which the Sooners put up 81 points, a total of five players would score in double figures. The first to be mentioned has to be Andrew Fitzgerald. Through the majority of the season, Fitzgerald has disappeared into the background as Romero Osby has surfaced as the go-to guy as well as being replaced by newcomer Amath M'Baye in the starting lineup.
My coaches and my teammates have been working to build my confidence up. The last couple of games I have kind of been in a slump. Today I was not trying to score, just trying to rebound and get at it on the defensive end. I'm really thankful to have the coaches and teammates I have to help me get through this bump." - Andrew Fitzgerald
On this day, Fitzgerald would rule the first half with 10 points and the deciding component in Oklahoma taking a 34-29 lead into the half. On the other hand, Osby collected only two points on 1-of-3 shooting in the first half after averaging 15.9 points per game.
Don't be alarmed as Osby would return to form in the second half tallying up 15 points for a team high 17 points on the evening.
"The second half Romero [Osby] came out with good energy and we definitely wanted to throw it inside to him. He did a good job of getting into position in there a little bit more physically and finished the opportunities." - Lon Kruger
However, the second also saw a dose of freshman Buddy Hield making his presence known as a stat stuffer yet again. In the second half, this duo combined for 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting without a single turnover between them. Hield finished the game with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
While the Sooners got great production off the bench with Fitzgerald's 12 point, Cameron Clark poured in another 10. Rounding out the double-digit scorers from Oklahoma was Steven Pledger with 11 points marking the eighth consecutive game in which he has scored in double figures.
"It was a good win. Anytime you win a Big 12 game you can feel good about that. I thought the first half Tech had a little bit more activity on loose balls and kept some shots alive on offensive boards. I thought we didn't get the ball inside as much as we needed to. I thought Andrew [Fitzgerald] carried us through that, he had a great stretch. Then we came out in the second half and Romero [Osby] got off to a good start getting the ball inside a little more. We just played much better in the second half and moved the ball. Buddy [Hield] got involved in a lot of plays, as he always is. He did an awfully good job. It was a good win to protect our home court and keep moving forward."
- Lon Kruger
Leading the way for Texas Tech was Dejan Kravic with a game high 20 points. The only other Red Raider to score in double figures was Jaye Crockett who recorded a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"I'm not upset with my team. I thought we fought. I think we're a victim of inexperience. With each game, they show signs of getting better and better." - Chris Walker
Aside from experience, TTU seemed to be lacking the aggressive nature that is required at this level of basketball. Not only were the Red Raiders outrebounded 40-to-32 but they only landed themselves at the free throw line 13 times. Coach Walker has been made aware of the issue but is taking it step by step with the right mentality.
Up next for Oklahoma will be a surging Kansas St. Wildcats team. If there was any sort of measuring stick for the Sooners early on, this will certainly be it.