After an up-tempo first half of basketball, things slowed down in the second half for the Oklahoma Sooners and Arkansas Razorbacks. Unfortunately, the Sooners got cold in the second half and fell by a score of 92-83 in the first round of the PK80 Invitational. Oklahoma will play Portland on Friday at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN3.
Trae Young led the way for Oklahoma with 28 points, with 16 of those coming in the first half. Although he didn’t play quite as well down the stretch as he would have hoped, he did have this one spectacular highlight:
It was a tale of two halves in Portland. Oklahoma trailed 50-45 after a somewhat sloppy, yet entertaining first half of play. OU shot 51.5% before the break but had turned the ball over 12 times. Additionally, Arkansas had made 7-10 three point attempts at that point. In the second half, neither team lit it up from the field, but OU’s struggles from deep ended up being the difference. OU was only 2-12 from long range in the second half but still trailed by only one possession until Daniel Gafford hit a difficult shot with 1:03 remaining in the game to make it 85-81.
The opportunities were there for this team, but they just couldn’t take advantage. Tomorrow’s matchup against Portland won’t really tell us much, but I’ll be interested to see how some of these guys play during crunch time in OU’s next difficult contest, which will be against USC at the Staples Center on Dec. 8. Guys like Christian James, Brady Manek and Kameron McGusty struggled mightily from the field in the second half today, but hopefully they come up big in future non-conference battles.
In the end, one November college basketball game is a small sample size. This team has plenty of potential and will surely unlock it before too long. Having said that, let’s end this post on a positive note. Here’s a fun highlight courtesy of Khadeem Lattin (and @OUHoops):