After being down 17 late in the first half, Oklahoma came back tie it and had a real chance at claiming its first road win since Dec. 30. However, the Iowa State Cyclones made the plays down the stretch and dropped OU by a score of 88-80. The Sooners are now 16-8 overall and 6-6 in Big 12 play.
Oklahoma came out flat in another road game and found itself in a 40-23 hole with 4:16 left in the first half. However, the effort of Christian James pair with the exceptional skill of Trae Young allowed OU to slowly chip away at Iowa State’s lead throughout the rest of the period and the early stages of the second half. By the 4:54 mark in the second half, the game was tied at 71 following an and-1 opportunity started by Trae Young and finished by Brady Manek. Young was unable to shoot the free-throw after suffering a cut on his leg during the contact at the basket.
The teams then went back and forth until the 2:14 mark when Young tied it up with a pair of free throws, but it was all downhill from there. Back-to-back threes from Jackson and Wigginton effectively ended it, as OU didn’t really have much left in the tank after that.
Christian James scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds in what was probably the best performance of his career. Young did some good things - scoring 22 points and dishing out 11 assists - but he struggled to find the three-pointer and finished 1-8 from deep. He once again did a fantastic job getting to the rim, but it’s been a while since he’s been able to find his shot on the road. Khadeem Lattin had a bit of a rough outing by his standards as he pulled down only five rebounds and regularly struggled to assert himself down low.
We didn’t see much of Kameron McGusty on Saturday and instead saw our fair share of Jordan Shepherd, who earned a season-high 28 minutes in Ames.
Oklahoma is now firmly in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 standings after looking like one of the best teams in the early going. Things aren’t going to get any easier for this team, so they’ll need to really pull themselves together in order to earn a decent seed in March. No. 7 Texas Tech awaits the Sooners in Lubbock on Tuesday, which isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered.