Coming into the inaugural bedlam matchup of the Kruger-Underwood era, the Sooners had won 17 of the last 24 matchups, including seven straight. While the basketball version of bedlam had been lacking in parity compared to its football counterpart, last night’s 68-66 Cowboys victory showed every shade of the rivalry Oklahomans know very well.
“Bedlam is back,” Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood succinctly said after the game, and he was right. Depending on your perspective, it was either a complete collapse or an incredible last-minute rally. Both are probably true.
While the Sooners led the majority of the game, they allowed the ‘Pokes to hang close, and it came back to bite them. Oklahoma had a 68-63 lead with a little over a minute remaining when Dante Buford stepped up to the line. He missed both foul shots, paving the way for a Cowboys comeback. A Mitchell Solomon steal shortly afterward led to a pair of foul shots, of which he drained both. Then, after a Cowboys miss, the Sooners had the ball with no shot-clock left–foul time, in other words. Instead of wrapping the ball up, Jordan Woodard, who struggled all game long, coughed up the ball.
The sequence was complete bedlam.
Lindy Waters snagged a rebound off of a Cowboys miss. Jawun Evans then found Phil Forte on the elbow, wide open. Swish.
Oklahoma had multiple timeouts to draw up a final play. Kam McGusty, who had been cooking all day, deserved the ball. Either the play call or McGusty’s shot selection were suspect though, and he missed everything on the attempt.
Watch the final sequence below:
— Matt Ravis (@mattravis) January 31, 2017
Afterwards, coach Lon Kruger spoke about powering through and closing games–something this young Sooners squad has struggled mightily with.
They have to learn how to win, and they aren’t quite there yet.
Kam McGusty was the leading scorer for the Sooners, scoring 22 and pulling down four rebounds. If not for McGusty, whose fingerprints were all over the game, the Sooners would have been blown out. The only other Sooner in double-digits was Dante Buford, who had 11 in his return after missing one game due to disciplinary action. Jordan Woodard struggled heavily all game, scoring just 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The Sooners fall to 8-13, 2-7 and last in the Big XII. Oklahoma State improves to 14-8, 3-6 in league play. The Sooners travel to Lubbock on Saturday to take on Texas Tech.