The last time the Wichita State Shockers scored fewer than 50 points in a game, the year was 2009. In fact, it was nine years ago to the day. The streak snapped Saturday afternoon when a staunch defensive effort propelled the Oklahoma Sooners to an easy 80-48 win.
OU’s 32-point margin of victory was it’s largest of the season to date and a fantastic all-around team effort. Four Sooners finished with double-digit point totals with Christian James and Miles Reynolds leading the way with 14 points a piece. OU shot 18-22 from the free throw line and out-rebounded the Shockers 52-33 (without Jamuni McNeace, mind you).
The game was close (and plagued by sloppy play) for much of the first half before OU created some separation to take a 35-27 lead into the locker room.
However, the Sooners held WSU to 6-30 from the field in the second half with smothering team defense while taking advantage of a number of fast-break opportunities.
Saturday’s dominant win over Wichita State comes on the heels of Tuesday’s victory over Notre Dame. The Sooners are back in action at the BOK Center in Tulsa next Saturday, December 15 against USC, and McNeace is expected to be back in the fold.
Jamuni McNeace should be ready to go next Saturday at USC, Kruger says.
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) December 8, 2018
Christian James, who also grabbed 13 rebounds and had a double-double before halftime, is obviously the star of the group, but McNeace is the straw that stirs the drink. The fact that this team has been able to pick up consecutive wins over Notre Dame and Wichita State in his absence should absolutely be commended.
Additionally, this team has no shortage of quality wins, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this group crack the top 25 this coming week, as they absolutely deserve some recognition. They seem to have the ingredients — defense, leadership, chemistry, and one of the best scorers in the country — to end up well above their projected No. 8 finish in the Big 12.