OMAHA- The Creighton Blue Jays handed the Oklahoma Sooners their second straight loss.
Three days after losing in Austin Reaves’ return to Wichita State, the Blue Jays out-dueled the Sooners 83-73.
Oklahoma fell to 7-3 on the season.
Here are a few takeaways from the game:
Sooners dragged into a three point contest
The Sooners played the game on Creighton’s terms, a style of play they were never going to win.
Creighton wanted to spread the floor and create space for their shooters to go to work. The Blue Jays were able to stretch the Sooner defense around the floor and create the shots they wanted, converting 12-of-35 from deep.
Oklahoma, in comparison, often forced up contested threes early in the shot clock, draining just 8-of-32 from behind the arc.
Unlike their last outing against Wichita State, the Sooners held a size advantage inside.
But Oklahoma failed to exploit the mismatch.
When the Sooners did feed the ball into the lane, they were successful, outscoring the Blue Jays 26-16 in the paint.
Quick hits from Oklahoma’s 83-73 defeat at Creighton pic.twitter.com/Pgj6yZCLJe
— Ryan Chapman (@RadiosRyan) December 18, 2019
Creighton controlled the game from the free throw line
Free throws win games. Simple as that.
The Blue Jays visited the charity stripe 15 more times than the Sooners. The 10 point differential in made free throws ultimately was the difference in the ballgame.
Creighton executed their offense at a high level, finding teammates cutting to the basket off of screens, and drawing fouls near the rim. The Blue Jays also trailed their teammates into the lane, creating an easy option if the Oklahoma defense was able to stop the initial drive inside.
Too often, the Sooners merely watched as their teammate drove into the lane, allowing the Creighton defense to close in and stop the drive without conceding a foul.
Reaves was the only Sooner who consistently found himself at the free throw line, and even he benefitted from being fouled in the process of shooting a three point shot twice.
Despite the loss, Oklahoma continued to take care of the ball
Lon Kruger’s team entered the night averaging just 10 turnovers a game, the third best mark nationally.
Oklahoma only gave the ball back to the Blue Jays eight times, a feat even more impressive considering the face pace of the game.
While the Sooners have struggled to consistently rebound or shoot the three at a high level, they will have to continue to mitigate their turnovers if they want to contend in the always stout Big 12 conference slate.
The loss in Omaha marks the end of Oklahoma’s month long road trip.
The Sooners will return to the Lloyd Noble Center on Dec. 21 to host the UCF Knights. The game will tip-off at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma.