Heading to Nationwide Arena once again, Lon Kruger anticipated a Dayton Flyers dominated crowd. Not only were the Oklahoma Sooners preparing for their opponent, they were forced to deal with a hostile environment. One thing Isaiah Cousins and the rest of the crew had going for them was the expectation of a tired Dayton program. Yet, an Archie Miller coached team refuses to give up. With inspired play, Dayton fought until the clock hit 0:00 before falling 72-66.
The Sooners opened the game by connecting on five consecutive 3-point attempts securing an early 15-7 lead over the Flyers. Once again looking to the bench early, Frank Booker, a sharp shooter finished the game with 12 points. The effort forced tired defenders to continuously close out exhausting more energy. However, solid shooting quickly diminished giving way to a drought offensively as the Flyers used a 15-0 run.
By the time the half came to a close, Dayton found themselves within two at 32-34 of their opponent battling for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. Coming out of the locker room, the Flyers looked like the team to beat. Consistently attacking the rim while drawing the foul, Scoochie Smith finished the old fashioned three point play to pull even at 40-40.
Using a barrage of 3-pointers from Darrell Davis and Dyshawn Pierre, the Flyers began to pull away 49-40 as Oklahoma folded on both ends of the court. The outlook of the game quickly changed as the crowd roared in favor of the Dayton Flyers.
Responding with a lock down defense midway through the second half, TaShawn Thomas denied two shots as the Sooners held their opponent scoreless for a nine minute stretch. Making the most of the opportunity, Buddy Hield scored 15 points as Oklahoma utilized a 13-0 run to take back the lead.
Of course, Jordan Woodard once again made a living at the charity stripe. Knocking down 9-of-10 attempts, the point guard poured in a team high 16 points. Moving forward, OU needs the sophomore to continue to produce at a high level with a few key players experiencing slumps.
With seconds left in regulation, Dayton continued to fight but came up short in the end as the Sooners earned a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. Ryan Spangler pulled down 12 rebounds during 40 minutes of play as Oklahoma out rebounded the Flyers 35-22.