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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball Recap: OU struggles mightily in 73-54 loss to Stanford

Oklahoma got off to another slow start. This time, the Sooners failed to turn it around.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Stanford Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

In their first five games, the Oklahoma Sooners’ performances were marked by slow starts and triumphant finishes. However, only one of those things applied Monday night against Stanford, as OU was dominated by the Cardinal from start to finish and fell by a score of 73-54.

Three Things

  • Oklahoma’s slow starts were a concern coming into Monday evening’s contest, but the issue finally bit the team in the behind this time around. In this instance, the Sooners dug themselves into a 17-0 hole (with the help of what appears to be a well-coached Stanford team), which Oklahoma theoretically could’ve climbed it way out of with some better offensive execution. It seemed like a possibility after a 10-0 run, but the deficit would never be any smaller than seven from that point on.
  • Stanford got the Sooners out of sorts by preventing Austin Reaves and Brady Manek from catching and shooting, and the result was the forcing of a lot of bad shots. In the first half, OU ended up shooting 9/31 from the floor and 3/12 from deep. As the game wore on and the offensive struggles continued, the defensive effort began to wane, and the rout was on.
  • In spite of being taken out of his comfort zone, Reaves still managed display flashes of brilliance. The 17-point, 6/14 shooting performance doesn’t jump off the page, but the Wichita State transfer singlehandedly allowed this team to hang around for as long as it did. His ability to create his own opportunities is invaluable, and he’ll typically have a bit more help moving forward. Having said that, the team’s general lack of commitment to running offense and producing better shots is concerning in that it has been the source of so many of OU’s struggles since Buddy Hield & Co. exhausted their eligibility.

Up Next

  • The Sooners will face former conference foe Missouri on ESPNews at 6 p.m. in Tuesday’s third-place game, and it’s a game that they should win. With that in mind, another slow start will age me by a few years. I don’t know where Lon Kruger and his staff find the Magic First Half Elixir, but they need to work quickly.