After finding themselves with a 19-point deficit by halftime, the Oklahoma Sooners could have quit while on the road in possibly the toughest place to play in the country. Instead, the group weathered a first half 3-point barrage (eight consecutive makes to be exact) from the Kansas Jayhawks only to take a lead during the second half. The frenzy caused Allen Fieldhouse to stir and will the home team to an 85-78 win.
Experience & Composure Go A Long Way
Behind the leadership of Buddy Hield, the Sooners remained composed when the temptation to fold and go home arose. Scoring a game high 26 points, the junior guard set the tone early and consistently answered the call. Taking after Hield, fellow junior guard, Isaiah Cousins added 18 of his own as Oklahoma quickly closed the gap to start the second half. To boot, OU cut down significantly on their turnovers after the break. Turning the ball over 9 times in the first half, the group turned it over a mere 4 times in the second period. The ability to forget and move forward could become a strength of this squad. Unfortunately, desperation shots while sending opposing players to the charity stripe doomed the Sooners in the closing minutes. However, Big Monday speaks volumes for what Lon Kruger has going in Norman as we rarely see a player step out of line when frustration sets in.
Good Things Happen When You Attack The Rim
Although it will be the story of the week and fans will constantly hear about it time and time again, the 20 point gap easily tempts shooters into being the hero. Regrouping in the locker room, Kruger rallied the troops as they attacked the rim on a consistent basis landing them at the free throw line 21 times. Throughout the duration of the season, the Sooners have not been the most efficient team at getting to the charity stripe. All of that could change after the outcome tonight leading to a reinvigorated charge. On the plus side, OU scored 28 points in the paint matching the output of the Jayhawks.
Buddy Hield May Very Well Be The Best Player In The Conference
Fans across the Big XII have witnessed the potential of Buddy Hield. This season, he has once again stepped his game up especially in conference play. The junior has scored 20+ points in each conference match-up with the exception of the game against Texas. Hield continues to be a force to reckon with although he draws a majority of the defensive attention each outing.