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Blake Griffin’s 33/17 Performance Powers Oklahoma Past Michigan 73-63


 

There are some mismatches that just can't be overcome. So far in the NCAA Tournament that has been Blake Griffin. Against Morgan State he went 11-12 from the floor, scoring 28 points and grabbing 13 turnovers while leading the Sooners to an 82-54 thrashing. When OU took a step up in competition against Michigan Griffin cranked up the intensity as well by dropping 33 points and snagging 17 boards. His signature moment came in the second half when he rocked the rim with a tomahawk jam over Zack Novak.

Oklahoma seems to be back on track with Blake Griffin being unstoppable under the basket and the guards making clutch shots. Both Willie Warren and Austin Johnson joined Blake in the double figure scoring category. The guard duo combined for a respectable 6 of 13 from 3-point range. Warren hit some big shots early and then Johnson put a dagger into the heart of the Wolverines with a 3-point shot in waning minutes of the game to put it out of reach.

Oklahoma shot 40% from the floor in the first half and improved that to 58% in the second. The Sooners outscored Michigan 36-18 in the paint, 24-11 off turnovers 13-10 off second chance points and 8-4 off fast breaks. OU also forced 14 turnovers. Afterward both Griffins along with Willie Warren and Austin Johnson said that they felt this was the best they had played since Blake was hurt against Texas.

However, not everything was perfect in Sooner Land. Oklahoma left 10 points on the charity stripe and received virtually nothing from the bench. All but 1 of Oklahoma's 73 points were scored by the starters. The combined stat line of Oklahoma's bench read - 18 minutes, 2 turnovers, 3 assists, 3 personal fouls, 2 rebounds and 1 point. To help put it in perspective Michigan's bench scored 19 points.

Oklahoma was fortunate in that they could beat the Wolverines with just five players but I wouldn't want to count on that happening against Syracuse or Arizona State. Someone else needs to grow up real fast before next Friday. There's no time left for baby steps.