When the #8 team in the country loses to the #23 team in the country, many people would expect it to be a true “upset”, but after watching Oklahoma dismantle Oklahoma State on Monday night, it looked to be just the opposite. The Sooners, playing at home in Norman, exploded for 46 points in the first half, and while the Cowboys challenged at times, it wasn’t enough to catch OU in a 88-76 decision.
It was an incredibly balanced effort for the Sooners, as they put up 88 points despite failing to place a single scorer with more than 18 points. Seven Oklahoma players cracked 7+ points, and as a team, they got to the line a staggering 42 times, generating “free” points with the clock stopped in order to outpace the highly touted OSU offense. The MVP of the game for OU was, unquestionably, sophomore forward Ryan Spangler, who snatched a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Defensively, Oklahoma was able to hold the high-powered Cowboys to just 40% from the field, and that was a huge impetus, despite the relatively high-scoring total. Future lottery pick Marcus Smart was able to generate 22 points, but he did so on just 6-for-18 shooting, and Oklahoma was able to win the rebounding battle (again, thanks to Spangler) in order to minimize any extra opportunities for the Cowboys. If there was a bright spot for OSU, it was the hot shooting of Phil Forte III, who scored 20 points including 6-for-6 from long range, but it wasn’t enough to crack the code for a victory.
Oklahoma entered Monday night’s “bedlam” contest as a small underdog despite the home venue, but in the end, they emerged with an increasing amount of national respect and a crucial conference win over their chief rival.