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Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners hold off Oklahoma State, 74-64

It was ugly, but the Sooners got the job done in Bedlam.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners bested the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 74-64, in an ugly Bedlam battle. How ugly was it? Both teams combined for 45 fouls and shot below 40%. With the win, Lon Kruger’s squad improves to 12-2 on the season, 1-1 in Big 12 play.

As has been the case with this Oklahoma team in recent weeks, this wasn’t a contest that featured a player who completely took over the game by himself, but one guy that made a consistent impact on both ends of the court throughout the day was junior forward Kristian Doolittle, who led the team in scoring with 16 points.

Doolittle is on the best scoring streak of his career, recording at least 10 points in his last four contests. Against Oklahoma State, he scored a season-high 16 points on 4-8 shooting from the field, 8-10 from the line, with eight rebounds and this mega-stuffing of Cowboys guard Michael Weathers.

In the first half, Oklahoma jumped out to a 13-4 lead despite struggling from three-point land. Meanwhile on the other side, Oklahoma State found itself in significant foul trouble early, namely with starting guard Lindy Waters, who amassed three fouls before he could record a point. The Cowboys battled through the adversity to make the game a back and forth contest, but the Sooners surged ahead late behind a combination of Christian James, Aaron Calixte and Rashard Odomes to close the first twenty minutes up 38-32.

In the second half, it was relatively more of the same from the field for both squads out of the break. Things didn’t start to heat up until midway through the half, when Oklahoma’s bench crew of Odomes, Jamal Bieniemy and Matt Freeman all made momentum changing plays. Jamuni McNeace, who’s missed a number of games this season with an ankle injury, came off the bench again today, but unfortunately went down and was visibly in pain late in the second half. He did not return.

Down the stretch, the Sooners’ depth and experience proved too much to overcome for the young and outmanned Cowboys. Oklahoma pulled away to secure the 10 point win that was really never in much doubt.

Up next, Oklahoma travels to Lubbock on Tuesday, January 8th to take on a quality Texas Tech team. The Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0) pride themselves on their stifling defense, with their lone loss of the season coming against Duke at Madison Square Garden. Last season, the Sooners split the two meetings against TTU, with each home team winning by 10.

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