Ames, Iowa—The Oklahoma Sooners drop their tenth Big 12 Conference game this season, losing to the Iowa State Cyclones 78-61.
The loss to the Cyclones was a microcosm of the Sooners’ season so far. Oklahoma came out in the first half looking great and nailing difficult shots. OU traded blows with the Cyclones with seven lead changes coming in the first half.
Trailing by one at halftime seemed to be a fair trade off, given that Iowa State shot 51.7% from the field in the first.
Christian James and Kristian Doolittle led the way offensively in the first half with 8 points each with Doolittle grabbing 6 of his 11 total rebounds.
Throughout the game, the ball became stuck when the Sooners (Doolittle specifically) drew a double team. OU settled for tough shots rather than kicking the ball out to the perimeter for open looks.
Coach Lon Kruger took a timeout 57-seconds in to the second half after Iowa State jumped out on a quick 5-0 run to begin the half. Soon after, Oklahoma was held scoreless for over four minutes as the Cyclones took a commanding 16-point lead before putting the game on cruise control for the final nine minutes.
The Sooners had their usual suspects when it came to who scored. Doolittle and James scored 12 and 15 points respectively, albeit shooting an inefficient 10-32 combined from the floor.
One positive from OU’s loss to the Cyclones? Jamuni McNeace.
McNeace looked like he did prior to injuring his ankle in December. The nagging ankle injury is high on the list of reasons why the Sooners cannot seem to get over the proverbial hump.
McNeace logged 12 points and 5 rebounds in 17 minutes, the most he has contributed since his initial ankle injury.
Oklahoma looks to bounce back Saturday as they host the West Virginia Mountaineers.
The Sooners are still alive when it comes to the big dance, but they must play a full 40 minutes each time out if they want an invitation to the party.