Lubbock, TX – The Oklahoma Sooners drop their second Big 12 game of the season to Texas Tech 66-59. Prior to tonight’s meeting, the home team has won each of the past six matchups with the streak extending to seven tonight.
The Sooners simply could not stop Jarrett Culver. The Red Raider Sophomore guard put up 23 points against the Sooners, three points shy of his career high. Culver made his living in the paint all night making four of his eight shots from the paint and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Jamuni McNeace was a minute part of the equation against the Red Raiders, scoring two points and hauling in one rebound in eight minutes of play. A healthy McNeace may have made up the difference for Oklahoma in the paint.
Fouls hindered Lon Kruger’s troops in what seemed to be the most crucial of situations. Jamuni McNeace, Christian James and Kristian Doolittle all picked up fouls just as the Sooners looked like they could regain momentum in the second half. James was especially hindered as he played the better part of the second half with three personal fouls to his name and picking up his fourth and final foul to send Tech to the line so Oklahoma could have a chance.
Christian James and Brady Manek led the way offensively for the Sooners, combining for 27 points.
James went 4-12 from the field and 3-10 behind the arc. 12 of his 14 points came in the first half.
Manek was slightly more efficient, going 4-10 from the field and hauling in seven total rebounds.
Kristian Doolittle continues to show improvement each game this season. Although he was not as dominant as he was in Bedlam last Saturday, Doolittle showed he can bang bodies down low and be aggressive when needed. However, Doolittle’s aggressiveness cost him in Lubbock as he picked up all three of his fouls in a seven-minute stretch during the second half.
The Sooners need to fix their shooting woes quickly if they expect to hang around the top half of the Big 12 standings. To begin Big 12 play OU has progressively gotten worse from the field. Although the sample size is only three games, it is showing that the players are beginning to notice that their shots are not going down. Oklahoma shot 40% at Kansas, 36% against OSU and 32% in Lubbock.
Coach Kruger has a few days to regroup and take the lid off the basket before the TCU Horned Frogs come to Norman on Saturday, January 12 at 1 PM. As for Texas Tech, they now reside by themselves atop the Big 12 standings. OU now sits eighth with a 12-3 record (1-2 in conference play).