One down one more to go for the Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) men’s basketball team, who kicked off arguably their toughest week yet with a 73-59 win over Oral Roberts (6-3) Thursday, in a game that was a lot closer than the score indicates. Despite what many may believe, Oral Roberts is no scrub. They proved that tonight by giving the Sooners all they had, and are expected to be in the running for a conference championship in the Summit.
From start to finish it was an entertaining game. Even when it seemed the Sooners might have had an opportunity to pull away, the Golden Eagles came marching right back to give themselves more hope. In the end however, the deficit was too great to overcome, especially with the poor shooting from beyond the arc (just 1-15 on the night).
The Sooners on the other hand, shot 50% from the field and 43% from three on their way to the victory. With 15 assists on the evening, ball movement undoubtedly played a key part in the outcome.
As much as rebounding has been stressed on the season, the Sooners delivered tonight. They outrebounded the Golden Eagles by a margin of ten, and controlled the glass for 12 offensive boards.
Steven Pledger lead the Sooners in scoring with 17 points and a perfect 5-5 from the stripe. Cameron Clark, who, after a slow start, has reeled off his fifth straight game in which he scored double-digits, was not far behind with 16. Clark also lead the team with eight rebounds, and of course, added two highlight reel dunks, making him the Sooner Player of the Game. Andrew Fitzgerald also added 16, 12 of which came in the first half.
Despite early foul trouble, Romero Osby still played a key role in the win tonight, contributing seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks in just 21 minutes of play.
Perhaps most crucial however, was the play of reserves CJ Washington and Tyler Neal, who combined for 13 points and nine rebounds on the night. The only shot Neal hit all evening, could have been the biggest one of the game, a three pointer that ultimately sparked a Sooners run that would seal the win. Neal also swiped two steals on the evening.
Next up the Sooners will welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday. The game will prove one of the toughest tests yet for the Sooners, and could reveal a lot about the squad. Tip-off is set for 2 PM CST.
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