The Oklahoma Sooners returned home to a sell out crowd hoping to secure a second conference win. Standing in their way, the best statistical perimeter defense in the country and the Kansas State Wildcats. Would Lon Kruger and the Sooners avoid defeat after being swept last season? Apparently so as OU outscored their opponent 86-76 on the afternoon.
Tearing through conference foes, Buddy Hield continues to impress on a national level. Following up a career high 46-point performance, the senior guard connected on 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc leading the way with 31 points. The effort marks the sixth time Hield has broken the 30+ point barrier this season.
Oklahoma took an early but commanding lead to open up the game 29-10 after Jordan Woodard's made layup with 10:08 remaining in the first half. However, KSU would score the final 12 points of the half building a bit of momentum heading into the final 20:00 stretch. Adding to it, the Sooners turned the ball over 20 times which allowed Wildcats to creep back into the contest. Watching the lead dwindle to eight points at the 8:10 mark in the second half, OU all but put this one out of reach knocking down two three pointers late. On the evening, the Sooners shot 56% from the floor and 58% from beyond the arc.
Team Stats from tonight! pic.twitter.com/le50FVEZMD— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 9, 2016
Barry Brown extended his streak of 15+ point games to three for the Wildcats behind a 19-point outing. Losing their first three conference games by an average of 5.6 points shows the conference they are primed for a breakout in the coming years.
One area of concern for the Sooners may have manifested itself in free throw shooting. Although Oklahoma attempted 11 free throws, the only consistent shooter remained Hield. Cousins hit 2-of-6 attempts at the line while Ryan Spangler and Woodard failed to convert their only trip to the charity stripe. At this point in time, don't read to much into the stat line but continue to monitor it during the coming weeks.
The Oklahoma Sooners return to action in Bedlam 1.0 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Wednesday.