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Sooners, Cowboys pull of major upsets Saturday

Jordan Miller / OU Daily
OU’s Trae Young leads the nation in scoring.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s and Oklahoma State’s men's basketball teams jumped back onto the national radar with major upsets on Saturday. The 24th-ranked Sooners (USA Today Coaches Poll) stunned No. 3 Wichita State, 91-83, in Wichita while the Cowboys upset No. 19 Florida State, 71-70, at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla.

OU’s victory over the Shockers is the highest-ranked team the Sooners have defeated in a road game in program history. The win also marked the Sooners’ second consecutive win over a top-25 opponent. Oklahoma knocked off then No. 25 USC last week in Los Angeles.

Freshman guard Trae Young led the Sooners against WSU with 29 points and 10 assists. So far, this year, the Norman North product leads the nation with 28.8 points and 8.9 assists (third) per game.

“I think we opened up a lot of eyes in the college basketball world,” Young said.

Oklahoma dominated the first half rolling to a 54-39 halftime lead before a sold-out crowd of 15,004 at Intrust Bank Arena. After shooting 50 percent in the first half, the Sooners struggled with just 28.1 percent in the final 20 minutes. WSU, which hit 44.1 percent in the first half, also struggled a bit by making 41.7 percent in the second half.

OU led by 18 (77-59) with 8:25 remaining in the game but the Shockers began chipping away at their deficit to draw within six points with 40 seconds to go. Oklahoma made seven of eight free throws in the final 36 seconds to seal the victory and run its record to 8-1.

OSU upped its record to 8-2 with the win over the Seminoles who are coached by former OSU coach Leonard Hamilton (1986-90). Senior forward Mitchell Soloman’s tip-in with six seconds remaining gave the Pokes the deciding 71-70 lead, and then he took the game-clinching charge from FSU’s C.J. Walker, who drove into the lane but collided with Soloman with one second left.

Senior forward Jeffrey Carroll was the game’s MVP by leading the Cowboys with 23 points in his first start of the season. Soloman and guard Tavarius Shine each poured in a dozen points.

OSU forced the Noles to make 22 turnovers, and first-year coach Mike Boynton was pleased with his team’s defense.

“We take a lot of pride in our defense,” he said. “Making plays, altering players, speeding guys up, different things, making them play out of their comfort zone. We schemed a lot this game knowing that they had some good guards, so we knew we had to get it out of their hands and pressure them when they did have it. Today, it (our defense) came up big for us, and we were able to score points. That's a big part of our game.”

The Sooners and Pokes have a couple of non-conference games remaining before beginning the conference slate. OU hosts Northwestern State on Tuesday and Northwestern University on Friday. OSU hosts Tulsa on Tuesday and Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

The Sooners were picked to finish sixth in the coaches preseason Big 12 Conference poll while the Pokes were picked last. Their conference action begins after Christmas when OSU hosts West Virginia on Dec. 29 and OU travels to TCU on Dec. 30.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger will have additional depth to his roster when Kristian Doolittle returns to the lineup. The Edmond Memorial sophomore was slated to be one of OU’s starting forwards this upcoming season. He was suspended for academic issues and began practicing with the team on Sunday and will likely see action when OU hosts Northwestern State Tuesday night.

As a true freshman, Doolittle averaged 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He shot 39.5 percent from beyond the arc and was expected to make a big leap in his second season.

Brady Manek has started all nine game this season, and the Harrah freshman has averaged 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Manek is third on the squad with nine blocks while shooting 47 percent and 35 percent from outside the arc.

The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls will be released today, and the Sooners and Cowboys should have a good showing.

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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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