During the final minute of the game, to describe the action as intense may have been an understatement. Holding a two-point lead, Oklahoma turned the ball over giving Iowa State a chance to take the lead once again. Firing up a three, fans held their breath until the shot clanged against the back of the rim. On the ensuing possession, Jordan Woodard drove to the elbow with the shot clock was winding down. Pulling the trigger the point guard hit the shot pushing the lead back to four. Answering, Georges Niang hooked the ball over two defenders putting all the pressure on Oklahoma. In the final seconds the Cyclones resorted to fouling Buddy Hield. Fortunately, the Sooners continued to take the free points to come from behind to win 87-83 remaining undefeated.
The Oklahoma Sooners struggled throughout the first half shooting the ball from beyond the arc. However, no one experienced a more difficult time than Isaiah Cousins against the Iowa State Cyclones through twenty minutes. Shooting 0-for-6 from the floor, OU desperately needed someone to step up. Enter Dinjiyl Walker who collected seven points to pick up the slack. Regardless, the Sooners ended the half with an air ball and a 4-point deficit.
Finding success on defense around the perimeter throughout a majority of the game, the Cyclones clung to a slim lead. With the crowd constantly being pulled into the action, Cousins found a rhythm late in the second half. Knocking down a three pointer, the guard gave OU their first lead of the second half. Yet, Deonte Burton answered quickly to quiet the Sooner faithful.
Not to be denied, Cousins stepped back drilling another three-ball as Lloyd Noble erupted. With the fans amping up the defense, Cousins stole the ball leading to a fast break opportunity. Finding Ryan Spangler cutting toward the hoop, the forward collected his 20th point of the game push OU's lead to 81-77 with 4:08 remaining in the game.
Although Buddy Hield led the team in scoring with 22 points, he experienced a bit of an off night shooting 8-of-23. But, Oklahoma is not a team that must rely on one player. Playing much of the second half on one leg, Spangler finished with a double-double on 20 points and 12 rebounds. Yet, it was Cousins 15-point second half willing the Sooners to victory.
Iowa State held Oklahoma to 42.7% shooting while enjoying a 51.5% stretch themselves. Behind Niang's game high 29-point effort, the Cyclones should have won this game if simply looking at stats. Late turnovers allowed OU to put up 75 shots proving to be the downfall of ISU. Burton did his best to spark this group off the bench with 19 points but it wasn't enough.
Next up, the Sooners take on the Kansas Jayhawks in a battle for the No. 1 spot in the country.