The Oklahoma Sooners looked every bit the part of a top 20 team avoiding a lull witnessed by fans earlier this season. Moving to 6-2 on the season, Lon Kruger coached his team to an 87-68 win over intrastate opponent, Tulsa.
As the game tipped off, one thing quickly became apparent. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane made it a point to draw fouls underneath the basket in order to get to the charity stripe. Consistently attacking the rim, the effort paid off as Oklahoma's top rebounder, Ryan Spanger, found himself in early foul trouble allowing Tulsa to remain in the game.
For Oklahoma the focus remains taking good shots while sharing the basketball. Shooting 46.9%, I'd say the Sooners did just that.
Without Spangler on the floor, play opened up for the remaining post players to make an impression. Combine it with the fact that the leading scorer, Buddy Hield, struggled to find the bottom of the net and Oklahoma was forced to look elsewhere desperately hoping for production. Fortunately, TaShawn Thomas answered the call scoring 10 of the Sooners' first 15 points. The Houston transfer finished with a game high 25 points, just six shy of a career high.
Complimenting the play of the bigs, Isaiah Cousins once again proved to be a stat stuffer. Pouring in 21 points the junior guard added another 8 rebounds and 2 steals to his resume. The two put up a total of 46 points providing 52.87% of the scoring on the afternoon. This team continues to excel and could be a surprise contender for the Big XII Title when it's all said and done.
Khadeem Lattin started to impact the game with his length and athleticism. But, the afternoon was cut short for the freshman as he suffered a knee sprain. Hopefully, the forward appears on the available list in three days as the Sooners return home.
For Tulsa the focus remains depth against teams that like to play at a fast pace.
All eyes were on James Woodard who added 9 points in a team effort to upset a top team. However, it would be Shaquille Harrison leading the team behind a 21 points effort. Not known for his jump shot, Harrison continues to find ways to score with an explosive first step. Yet, a double-digit deficit simply could not be overcome.
Oklahoma now awaits ORU in a mere three days in hopes of extending their record to 7-2.