Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Oklahoma Sooners secured the win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. However, a pressing issue revealed itself once again as it reared it's ugly head. Oklahoma will need to resolve this issue moving forward as they push for an NCAA berth.
Update on Je'lon Hornbeak Injury - Reports are currently coming out that it was simply a twisted ankle. Lon Kruger stated that, if needed, Hornbeak could have returned to the game. Right now speculation is that he will be good to go against Baylor on Saturday.
To start the game, it was the Amath M'Baye show as the Oklahoma Sooners jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the road against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. M'Baye would score seven of Oklahoma's first 10 points as they pushed the lead to 14-6. From that point, the Red Raiders used a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game 15-14.
At the half, M'Baye had tallied a total of 13 points and would finish the game with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists marking his first double-double of the season.
Recently, Steven Pledger has been making his way but up the leaderboard in terms of scoring on the team. Tonight, he showed no sign of slowing down as he racked up a team high 22 points while hitting six treys. Down the stretch, this is a player who has hit numerous key shots and now ranks second on the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game.
Inside, Romero Osby was his usual self netting another 21 points for the Oklahoma Sooners as they downed the Texas Tech Red Raiders 86-71. That means that Pledger and Osby combined for nearly half of the total output on the scoreboard.
On the other side of things, Josh Gray, a freshman guard would have a career night putting up a game high 26 points. Adding to this effort was the usual suspect in Jaye Crockett who poured in another 15 points off the bench.
The one thing Texas Tech lacked in previous games was the ability to get to the charity stripe. They must have read my preview as fouls were a dime a dozen as the Sooners committed 24 fouls to put the Red Raiders at the line 28 times. Oklahoma found themselves at the line a total of 20 times. However, the equalizer was that Oklahoma outscored TTU 26-23 from the bench regardless of Crockett's performance.
Sam Grooms continued to build off of his outing against Oklahoma St. as he collected 12 points. Why this senior isn't starting is beyond me knowing what I am going to bring up next. Grooms finished without committing a turnover on the evening and added five assists off the bench to go along with Cameron Clark's 10 points.
While the Oklahoma Sooners did come away with a win, they revealed a deep issue still persists in the ability to handle the ball. Isaiah Cousins, who has transitioned in and out of that role as a starter, ended up with one of his least memorable outings this season. With four turnovers and zero points, this is a game the freshman will likely use to motivate himself to reach his potential. With that said, depth is a real concern. Buddy Hield is out and the guards will continue to shift positions. This sets up nicely for the anticipation of Jordan Woodard, a more traditional PG than the aforementioned names.