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Oklahoma Sooners

Sooners arrive late, but finish with a flourish

Trailing by 19 points midway through the first half at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma basketball roared back over the remaining 31 minutes in the game to seize victory from the jaws of defeat and claim a 70-61 victory over its in-state rivals.

Oklahoma State hit 10 of its first 14 shots in the game and raced out to a 28-9 advantage before the visiting Sooners knew what had hit them. The Cowboys’, the best three-point shooting team in the Big 12, couldn’t miss in the opening 11 minutes of the game, led by the long-range shooting of Lindy Waters and Cameron McGriff, who both connected on three of five three-ball attempts in the opening 20 minutes.

Oklahoma regained its composure after the initial OSU onslaught and outscored the Cowboys 22-9 to close out the first half and cut the Oklahoma State advantage to six points, 37-31, at the intermission.

The Sooners continued their hot hand in the second half and tightened up their on-ball defensive pressure, outscoring Oklahoma State 39-24 over the final 20 minutes. Oklahoma took its first lead in the game, 58-57, at the 8:09 mark in the second half on a layup by Jamuni McNeace.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

61

Oklahoma Sooners

70

The lead went back and forth for the next three minutes before Oklahoma closed out the game on 10-0 run.

OU freshman Jamal Bienemy, earning his second consecutive start, led the Sooners with 17 points and was one of three Oklahoma starters scoring in double figures. Brady Manek added 15 and Rashard Odomes contributed 11. Bienemy was perfect on all six of his shot attempts, including three from three-point range. His three-ball with 3:10 to go opened up a five-point Sooner lead.

Waters led the Cowboys with 20 points, including four of OSU’s 12 three-pointers in the game. McGriff was the only other Cowboy in double figures.

The Sooners led for just over five minutes in the game, while Oklahoma State held the lead for nearly 33 minutes. Contributing to OU’s impressive comeback were 21 points scored off of 13 OSU turnovers and a 38-16 advantage in the paint.

Oklahoma reached the 30-point level in first-half scoring for the first time in three games. The Sooners are now 13-1 when they score 30 or more points in the opening 20 minutes.

The victory earned OU its 14th win of the season to go with five losses and stopped a two-game losing streak that had left the Sooners to 2-4 in the Big 12. It is OU’s first win in Stillwater since 2016 and completes a sweep of the 2019 Bedlam series on the hardwood. Oklahoma lost three times to Oklahoma State last season.

 

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