I've got to be honest. Despite the fine review done by DishingOutDimes I still didn't know much about Louisiana Monroe basketball before tonight's game. Now, I'm thinking that I know even less about the Sooners. It's a good thing that I'm not a gambler because I would have bet that OU would've won by more than 11.
ULM did a great job, in the first half, at slowing the game down and generally frustrating the Sooners. At one point in the first half the Warhawks led by 8 and they controlled the lead almost until halftime. The Sooners were able adjust in the second half and led by Willie Warren did a much better job at controlling the tempo and separating themselves from ULM. It was a different side of Warren than what we saw last Saturday when he dished out 11 assists. Instead of sharing (only 4 assist) he kept the ball and scored a game high 24 points. Tony Crocker also scored 13 points by shooting 4-6 which is a far cry from what we saw from him on Saturday.
The Warhawks saw their record drop to 1-2 with Tuesday night's loss to Oklahoma which begs the question; did OU struggle against a bad team? Only time will tell just how good, or bad, ULM is but at least for this game they were pretty salty. In the first half they held the Sooners to 36.4% from the floor and 14.3% from beyond the arch. They most certainly took OU out of their game which makes the turnaround this team made for the second half even more impressive because they are a fairly young team. In the final 20 minutes was able to shoot 59.1% from the floor and 50% from three point range. They also made their way to the free throw line 16 times in the second half.
Turnovers were the key to Warhawks success and the biggest obstacle Oklahoma had to overcome. ULM scored 17 points off turnovers but even more disturbing they outscored OU 32-26 in the paint, 6-4 on fast breaks and 32-26 in the paint. These both show room for improvement and raise cause for concern for the Sooners, especially the points in the paint.
It's a young season for a young team and we've seen tons of potential through the first two games. Now we know where we need to see improvement as they move forward.