MORGANTOWN- It wasn’t pretty, the Oklahoma Sooners got exactly what they needed.
But as the calendar flips from February to March, things don’t have to look good. The only thing that matters is the result.
Picking up their second ranked win in a row, the Sooners completed the regular season sweep of the West Virginia Mountaineers 73-62.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Big Three leads the way:
Austin Reaves found himself in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Though the Sooners lost last Saturday, Reaves’ resurgence may be worth it.
Against the Mountaineers, Reaves wasn’t efficient from the floor, but he hit timely shots and was reliable at the free throw line late. When West Virginia’s press started to cause some problems, Reaves was a steady hand to slow the pace back down and get to the free throw line.
Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle both had standout performances as well, especially in the second half.
Playing his second game in a protective face mask, Doolittle led the way for Oklahoma scoring 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and pulling down seven rebounds. Doolittle also hit clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the game for the Sooners.
After a quiet first half, Manek shot lights out in the second half, helping extend Oklahoma’s lead early out of the break. Eleven of Manek’s 15 points came in the second half.
Manek held his own on the defensive end of the floor as well despite being undersized. The extra responsibilities on the defense makes his offensive output even more impressive as he dealt with the physicality of West Virginia.
Big boost from Bieniemy:
Jamal Bieniemy may have put in his best performance of the season against West Virginia.
Finishing with 12 points, Bieniemy shot 5-of-9 on the night and 2-of-5 from deep. When the Mountaineers neglected to close out on Bieniemy, he made them pay and helped open up the floor for the Sooners.
Bieniemy also helped mitigate the size mismatch down low by cheating in and grabbing six rebounds.
Although things got shaky when West Virginia began to press the Sooners late, Bieniemy and Harmon both worked their way through the struggles. Oklahoma was ultimately able to break the press enough times to seal the game, a must win for their tournament hopes.
Win sets stage for huge showdown on Tuesday:
A win against the Texas Longhorns could potentially seal Oklahoma’s spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Toppling their bitter rivals won’t come easy for the Sooners as the Longhorns enter the matchup riding a four game winning streak.
Both teams toppled Texas Tech and West Virginia in their two preceding games, and will be desperate for the win,
If Texas can escape the Lloyd Noble Center with a win, they’ll enter the Big 12 Tournament riding a wave of momentum and a chance to backdoor their way into the Big Dance themselves.
Tuesday is also Senior Night for the Sooners, where they will honor Kristian Doolittle.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. from the Lloyd Noble Center, but pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on 107.7 The Franchise. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.