On Saturday night with pride and bragging rights on the line, the Oklahoma Sooners set the tone for the rest of the game in the early going. The play of Buddy Hield provided a spark for the rest of the squad as ___ players scored in double digits against in-state rival, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. With a long drought behind the 3-point line, the Cowboys failed to match the output of the Sooners falling 82-65.
Stats of the Game
Buddy Hield - 27 Points on 10-of-10 Shooting from the Field
Ryan Spangler - 11 Points & 11 Rebounds
Le'Bryan Nash - 15 Points
Leyton Hammonds - 15 Points off the Bench
Oklahoma State - Held Under 70.8 Point Average
Saturday may be Hield's favorite day of the week as he has tallied 78 points in three conference games played over the weekend.
The Defense Has Returned
Heading into the game, Le'Bryan Nash (17.9 points per game) and Phil Forte (17.8 points per game) led the Big XII in scoring per outing. Simply put, the Oklahoma St. offense runs through these two players. Keying into that idea, the Sooners hedged every screen removing any daylight Forte attempted to create. To slow down Nash, Coach Kruger asked the post players and more specifically, Ryan Spangler, to play physically at the rim. As Nash made a move toward the hoop, he consistently met resistance from Oklahoma rattling the forward for a good portion of the game. The move dared the rest of the Cowboys to step up and take control of the game...something no one seemed ready to do. OU built a significant lead that they refused to relinquish.
Struggles With Pressure
The West Virginia Mountaineers may be one of the best defensive products on the market. While no one in the Big XII possesses the ability to press like the 'Eers, it doesn't mean teams won't try after the results it has yielded. Oklahoma State attempted to take a page out of Bob Huggins book while facing the Sooners and it paid off from time to time. Struggling with full court pressure at times as well as the half court trap, OU coughed up 17 turnovers. If Lon Kruger hopes to topple Kansas or Iowa St., a solution must be reached.
Dinjiyl Walker Providing Quality Minutes
After my constant complaining about the lack of production off the bench, it appears as though there may be an answer. Dinjiyl Walker and Jordan Woodard have similar styles of play but it has rarely translated to similar production. Tonight, however, it did. Walker scored 7 points off the bench.