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Bedlam Basketball: Round II

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Big 12 Conference is the best league in men’s college basketball this year, and no team can take any opponent for granted. Two teams that will not take each other for granted are Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, who will meet at 1 p.m. (ESPN) Saturday in Stillwater. And, both teams are in a foul mood after losing their last game.

Gallagher-Iba Arena will be a raucous place because the No. 4 Sooners (15-3, 5-2 Big 12) are coming for the second round of Bedlam this season. The unranked Cowboys (12-6, 2-4) are looking to avoid a sweep as the Sooners won the first meeting, 109-89, two weeks ago in Norman.

The freshmen duo of Brady Manek and Trae Young combined for 55 points to lead OU in Bedlam Round I. Manek hit 9 of 11 from the field including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc. Young was 7 of 17 for the game, and 1 of 6 from downtown, but he nailed 12 of 13 free throws. Young also dished out 10 assists for his fifth straight double-double and his ninth of the season.

Guard Thomas Dziagwa came off the bench and led the Pokes with 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting including 5 of 10 on 3-pointers.

After Tavarius Shine bombed a 3-pointer to give OSU a 14-11 lead early in the first half, OU’s Kameron McGusty answered from downtown to begin the Sooners’ assault. OU outscored the Pokes, 36-28, the rest of the first half and never looked back. Both teams had good shooting in the second half (OU 53% to 51%), but the Sooners overwhelmed the Cowboys by hitting nine 3- pointers in the second half. Manek hit five of his six treys in the final 20 minutes. Manek finished with 28 points, one more than Young.

Since then, OU has battled ranked foes. The Sooners lost to No. 5 West Virginia, 89-76, but rebounded to beat No. 8 Texas Tech, 75-65, No. 16 TCU, 102-97 in overtime. After those victories, Oklahoma rose to fourth in the polls then lost to unranked Kansas State, 87-69, Tuesday in Manhattan. The Sooners have lost six straight and seven of eight at Bramlage Coliseum.

After the loss to Oklahoma, OSU beat Iowa State, 96-87, lost to Kansas State, 86-82, beat Texas 65-64 and lost to Baylor, 76-60.

If the Pokes are to pull off another upset Saturday, they’ll have to do it with a tenacious defense. West Virginia’s and Kansas State’s defenses stymied the Sooners. The Mountaineers and Wildcats held OU to 76 and 69 points respectively. The Sooners have averaged 98 points in the15 other games. OU shot a combined 43.5 percent (51-120) from the field against WVU and K-State, including 31.1 percent (14-45) 3-pointers. The Sooners had a combined 37 turnovers in those two games. Against everyone else, Oklahoma is shooting near 50 percent from the field (41.4 percent from beyond the arc) and averaging 12.8 turnovers per game.

Young has been the star for the Sooners this year, but the Pokes must figure out a way to shut him down. Young feeds off the feed as he leads the nation with 9.8 assists per game. The Norman North product also leads the country in scoring with 29.5 points per game. No player in college basketball has finished a season leading both categories.

Young was named the NCAA National Player of the Week for last week’s performances, his third honor this season. He averaged 35 points in victories over Texas Tech and TCU. Young scored 27 against the Red Raiders and tied his career high 43 points against the Horned Frogs. In the win over TCU, Young shot 10-of- 18 from 3-point range. The Sooners set a school record with 19 treys against the Frogs.

In Oklahoma’s losses to West Virginia and KSU, Young hit just 37.2 percent from the field including only 18.5 percent from downtown. He's hit 46.5 percent and 43.3 percent respectively against everybody else.

The Pokes’ defense isn’t near the caliber of the Mountaineers nor the Wildcats. They currently rank seventh or eighth in Big 12 defensive statistics. OU is hovering near the bottom of the Big 12 defensively.

The Sooners must play up-tempo because that’s what they do best. The Pokes will need to slow the pace and hope for help from a noisy, raucous crowd at GIA.

Tale of the Tape

OU                          OSU

92.2  Scoring Offense  79.1

.491 Field Goal Pct.  .447

.404 3-Pt. FG Pct.   .324

.734 Free Throw Pct. .782

39.7 Rebounds 37.4

17.8 Assists 15.6

81.5 Scoring Defense 71.9

.430 Opp. Field Goal Pct. .424

.351 Opp. 3-Pt. FG Pct. .347

.737 Opp. Free Throw Pct. .723

38.1 Opp. Rebounds 35.8

7.2 Steals 6.9

5.5 Blocked Shots 3.9

+0.4 Turnover Margin +2.5

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About the Author

Ray Dozier

Ray Dozier is the author of Legends of Oklahoma Sooners Football and two editions of The...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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