Oklahoma trailed by one to two possessions most of the second half, but with about three and a half minutes left in the game one sequence summed up the Sooners 7th loss in the last eight games.
After allowing the Oklahoma State Cowboys to score four straight points and push the lead up to nine, 51-42, the Oklahoma Sooners cut into that lead with a Tanner Groves layup. Then the defense forced a Kalib Boone missed jumper, leading to what seemed to be an easy Jacob Groves lay-in, but Keylan Boone blocked the shot, leading to a fast break Rondel Walker triple that pushed the OSU lead up to double-digits, 54-44. What could have been a five-point game was quickly made into a four possession contest, ultimately leading to another Sooners loss, 64-55.
This OU team did turn the ball over 17 times, with 10 coming from OSU steals, but the Cowboys gave up the rock 16 times, so it was not the disparity we have seen in past games. However, 11 of those turnovers came in the second half, which effectively served as the difference.
The rebounding was much improved from the last game against TCU. In fact, the Sooners won the battle on the glass by five, 36-31; the real issue was a lack of scoring. Sure, Tanner Groves scored 23 points, his highest mark so far in Big 12 play, while Elijah Harkless added in 15, his second best output in conference play, but that’s where the production stopped. The rest of the team combined for just 17 points on 7-32 shooting, 21.9%.
The scoring options are simply not there. This Sooners squad lacks perimeter shooting, and when Umoja Gibson is off — like he was against OSU, shooting 0-4 from deep — there is no one else able to step up and contribute in a significant way. Not much you can change in-season, but when this coaching staff moves their focus to next season, some of these players will need some late season production to justify their 2022-2023 playing time.
The Sooners get a few days off before continuing the Big 12 grind, hosting No. 14 Texas Tech this Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on either ESPN 2 or ESPNU.