Oklahoma Knocks Down #11 Iowa State in Norman

Oklahoma Knocks Down #11 Iowa State in Norman

The Sooners coming off a loss to #1 ranked Baylor were looking to bounce back on their home court. 

This game, like every game in the Big 12, would come easy as #11 ranked Iowa State was coming to Norman. Getting off to a hot start, Oklahoma set an early lead.

But the Cyclone’s Izaiah Brockington became a big threat and made 14 of Iowa State’s first 16 points. Without Brockington’s early efforts, the Cyclones would not have stood a chance.

“He’s an elite shotmaker,” Porter Moser said,”he’s everything that we thought he was on tape.” 

Feeding off Brockington’s energy, Iowa State went on a seven-zero run to end the half to give the Cyclones a 36-32 lead.

While Oklahoma came out of halftime flat, Iowa State was persistent. The Cyclones forced three Oklahoma turnovers in just 1:30 and went on a seven-two run.

Moser instills that every offensive push must come off of defensive stops and the Sooners began to truly frustrate the Cyclones offensively.

Jacob Groves said,”That’s just it’s huge for us to get stops and have our defense create our offense.”

While Oklahoma was making key stops, their offense began to gain traction surprisingly Bijan Cortes was the force behind the Sooner’s momentum tsunami.  

His court vision allowed him to make intelligent decisions down the stretch and give his teammates easy looks at the basket.

“I just thought he did a great job of just having a great pace to it,” Moser said.

His playmaking, which accumulated in five assists, became responsible for Oklahoma’s 19-2 run.

“It’s obviously so fun playing with a point guard like that, that sees the floor the way that he does, and kind of makes the passes that he makes,” Groves said.

Jacob Groves and CJ Noland joined Cortes off the bench and were essential in Oklahoma’s run down the stretch. These three combined for 17 points, which in this league is crucial.

“I think our bench is one of the best in the country,” Groves said.

Even though Oklahoma’s run is what gave the team the final push to win, it was their efficiency that kept them resilient. The Sooners finished 62 percent from the field and 58 percent from behind the arc. 

Contributing to the offensive efficiency were Elijah Harkless and Umoja Gibson. Harkless shot three-of-four from the perimeter and five-of-nine of the floor to total 13 points. While leading the Sooners in scoring was Gibson from four-of-six shooting from the floor, 66 percent from behind the arc, and 20 points.

Oklahoma’s efficiency paired with a strong defensive performance and deep run down the stretch were the keys to the Sooner’s success. That and Bijan Cortes. 

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