NORMAN — Fouls outnumbered made baskets, turning Bedlam into a free throw affair Saturday afternoon as No. 23 Oklahoma outlasted Oklahoma State 74-64.
A game that lacked flow played into Oklahoma’s strength: defense.
The Sooners (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) entered the weekend ranked seventh in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. OU held OSU (6-8, 0-2 Big 12) to 34 percent shooting. The Cowboys, who came into the game as the Big 12’s best three-point shooting team, made just 6 of 26 attempts from long range.
The free throw game favored the Sooners. Oklahoma was 25 of 36 from the foul line. Oklahoma State was 14 of 21. The teams combined for 45 fouls and 43 baskets.
OU junior forward Kristian Doolittle recorded his fourth consecutive double-digit scoring game to lead the Sooners with 16 points. Brady Manek scored 15 and Christian James finished with 14 points.
Oklahoma shot just 36 percent from the floor and 25 percent from behind the arc. The Sooners went on multi-minute scoreless stretches in both halves, but OU made five of its last six field goal attempts to close the game and earn its first Big 12 victory.
Oklahoma returns to action at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Texas Tech. Oklahoma State hosts Texas at 6 p.m. Tuesday.