Throughout the first four games of European tour, the Oklahoma Sooners rode off with a comfortable win while maintaining a perfect record. Yet, the final chapter produced quite a different tale. The opponent on Thursday night proved to be a step up in competition from previous teams.
Evreux was clearly the most physical team Oklahoma faced during the five game stint. A surprise twist seemed to be unfolding late in the second half. After trailing for a majority of the night, Lon Kruger and his crew pulled out in front with just over six minutes to play until the momentum unraveled and Evreux took the game 80-70.
A very good team and a very physical game. We really hadn't had a physical game through the first four. So a lot of lessons to learn from this one and guys will benefit greatly. We had a really good stretch there offensively in the second half. We made some shots that helped turned the deficit into a lead. Then we didn't have as good of ball movement late, they got a little tougher and did things down the stretch a little better than we did. But again, it was such a good experience for our guys. It was a big, physical team and our guys learned a lot. - Lon Kruger
Two intentional fouls were dished out, one per team as whistles were a common occurance. It would be Evreux capitilizing upon the free throw margin making 28 trips to the charity stripe. Compare that to the boys in Crimson and Cream who only saw 12 attempts. Regardless of the physicality, Oklahoma showed a positive sign outrebounding their opponent 40-30.
With the performances, Lon Kruger has learned much about his team, both positive and negative. He will have a list of skills each player will need to work on until the regular season gets under way. The Oklahoma Sooners make their way back home on Friday with the final leg being made by bus.