After an eleven day break, the Oklahoma Sooners got the bitter taste of a loss to Arkansas out of their mouths.
In front of a sparse crowd at the 77th All-College Classic inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 64-54.
Both teams appeared to be extremely rusty as shots were off and turnovers were frequent, but credit both defenses for being stingy and physical early in the game.
However, it was Oklahoma’s suffocating defense that created plenty of turnovers and led to easy points for the Sooners. Oklahoma’s ability to convert turnovers into points was the difference in the game.
As the game got underway, it was apparent that this would be a tough, grind it out type game as both teams were struggling to hit baskets. The Sooners had trouble finding any offensive rhythm and it got more difficult after Steven Pledger had to sit due to foul trouble only 5 minutes into the game.
With 11:23 to go in the first half, OU trailed A&M 17-11. Buddy Hield finally got OU’s offense going a bit by hitting two free throws and a three pointer to cut the lead to 1 with a score of 19-18. This led to a 12-2 OU run fueled by the offense of Hield, Osby, and great Sooner defense.
The first half came to a close with OU on top 28-27. At the break, Buddy Hield led OU with 10 points, and Elston Turner was the leading scorer for A&M with 10.
In the first half alone, A&M committed 8 turnovers while OU had 7. The Aggies kept it close mainly due to Elston Turner and OU’s lack of firepower on the offensive end.
Amath M’baye was a no-show on the stat line in the first half without any points or rebounds. However, things improved for OU and got worse for the Aggies of the SEC.
At 13:41 in the second half, Elston Turner commited a turnover, which led to an Osby break away dunk to give Oklahoma a six-point advantage. Osby’s slam seemingly put the Sooners in control for the rest of the game.
Cameron Clark came off the bench and provided a spark for OU in the post by adding to an Oklahoma lead, capping an 8-0 run. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy was forced to call a timeout to stop the bleeding. The timeout would not help as OU kept their foot on the gas and kept pulling away. The Aggies just couldn’t overcome the OU defense which helped cause 19 turnovers.
The Sooners put on possibly their best performance of the season with the win over the Aggies. It wasn’t pretty at first but the Sooners overcame it and pulled away in the end. Even more impressive about the win is that Amath M’Baye ended the game without any points or rebounds in only 14 minutes of action.
Cameron Clark was much deserving of the player of the game award, as he picked up the slack and scored 17 points off the bench. Romero Osby also came up big with a game high 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Sooners are next in action on Tuesday, December 18th in Norman against the Stephen F. Austin Lumber Jacks at 7 PM.