Is this déjà vu? On Monday night, the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners were defeated by the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-6, 10-6), 79-75. With the loss, OU descends into a tie for fifth place in the Big 12 standings while falling to 14-8 on the season and 9-7 in conference play.
The Cowboys complete the sweep!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 2, 2021
Oklahoma State takes down their Bedlam rivals for the second time in three days #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/TKqd47x9uL
Seniors Brady Manek and Austin Reaves led the way for Oklahoma tonight, and despite combining for 39 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists three steals and a pair of blocks, their production simply wasn’t enough to overcome the balance and efficiency seen from Mike Boynton’s Cowboys. The stat that’s perhaps most disheartening when looking at this loss is how OU made 13 field goals from beyond the arc compared to the five that OSU scored.
3️⃣-for-3️⃣ from 3️⃣ for @BradyManek.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 2, 2021
ESPN | https://t.co/pI9NK41pVj pic.twitter.com/6gAdoTEBhr
Steal ➡️ 3️⃣ to retake the lead.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 2, 2021
ESPN | https://t.co/pI9NK41pVj pic.twitter.com/DlqwqdkafN
In the first half, the Sooners actually looked somewhat decent on offense, especially Manek, who scored 11 quick ones within the game’s first 10 minutes. Oklahoma eventually built a nine-point lead, but Cade Cunningham and company put the clamps down and went on a run of their own to level the playing field. From that moment on, it was a shot-trading contest with OU on the high-side at the halftime break, 36-35.
In the second half, OSU simply looked like the better team on the floor. Kalib Boone found easy offense time and time again, and Cunningham shook off his early rust to put his stamp on the evening. It just felt like Oklahoma was playing uphill for the final 15 minutes of the game, with only brief moments of enjoying a lead or tying things up. In the end, the shots just weren’t falling when they needed to most for the Sooners.
Up next, Oklahoma returns to the LNC to host the No. 15 Texas Longhorns on Thursday, Mar. 4. Five weeks ago, the Sooners stunned a then-fifth ranked UT squad in Austin, 80-79. Dating back to the 2018-19 season, OU has won three of the last four meetings against the Burnt Orange. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
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