On Thursday night, the Oklahoma Sooners met the Oklahoma St. Cowboys in the Big XII Tournament for Bedlam 3.0. Hoping to secure a spot in the semifinal, both squads struggled to score points throughout the first half. With a display of poor shooting overall, the Sooners managed a mere 21 points to the Cowboys 26 before the close of the half. However, Oklahoma dialed in their game with the second half using a 12-0 run to pull ahead 39-35 with 13:06 remaining in regulation. From there Buddy Hield and the rest of the Sooners continued to increase their lead before putting away Le'Bryan Nash and the Cowboys away 64-49 to advance.
From the get go, Oklahoma's strategy manifested itself in an attack mentality. Trying to find points in the paint, Michael Cobbins stepped up to challenge any shooter coming up with three blocks. Joining him in the block part, Mitchell Solomon continued to make the Sooners rethink their shot selection. As a team Oklahoma St. racked up 9 blocks on the night.
Of course, Nash flashed his brilliance with turn around jumpers and monster slams. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, his 27 points and 12 rebounds were not enough. Phil Forte III dropping three points certainly didn't help the cause.
To counter the production of Nash, Oklahoma's Hield stepped up to the plate. Consistently pulling the trigger, the junior guard connected on 5-of-15 shots. However, Hield knocked down 50% of his shots from behind the arc for a grand total of 22 points.
On the inside, TaShawn Thomas made his presence known with 17 points of his own to go alongside 10 rebounds. Two other Sooners scored in double-digits while the bench failed to produce a single point. The effort secured Lon Kruger's first post season win with Oklahoma and marked the fifth consecutive win over their in-state rival.
Next up, the Sooners face the Iowa State Cyclones for a spot in the final Friday night.