The Oklahoma Sooners are making Lloyd Noble Center a tough place to play once again. This time, the Iowa St. Cyclones felt its wrath as they were downed 87-82. It is a much welcomed sight as the Big XII Conference is making its return to the top of basketball world. With consecutive games against ranked opponents, Lon Kruger and his squad find themselves with a 2-1 conference record.
Buddy Hield picked up the slack with 22 points for a struggling Cameron Clark, the conference's leading scorer who finished with 12 on the afternoon. However, the biggest area the Sooners knew they needed to improve upon in order to compete with elite teams was three point shooting. In the statistical category, OU matched a season high with 13 treys.
Throughout the course of the season, rebounding has played a major role in determining the outcome of the games for Oklahoma. Each time they have been out-rebounded, they have put a mark in the loss column. That fact still hold true as the Sooners won the battle on the boards 41-34 and escaped with win. Ryan Spangler came up big with a career high 15 rebounds to accompany his 16 points for his sixth double-double this season.
On the other end of the court, DeAndre Kane continues to prove his doubters wrong by stuffing the stat sheet. With 23 points and 9 rebounds he led his team. Even so, the Cyclones found themselves down by 13 points in the second half. A run was waiting in the wings as the Cyclones began to make a comeback after Coach Fred Hoiberg called a much needed timeout.
The lead had much to do with the play of Isaiah Cousins who dropped in 17 points of his own to end the 14-game winning streak of Iowa St.
The other star, Melvin Ejim provided a bit of drama heading down the stretch as he hit a 3-pointer with 2:39 left in regulation to take back lead. However, Spangler came back with three the hard way to put Oklahoma back up by 2. Ejim poured in 21 points to go along with six rebounds but it wasn't enough.