|Team Stat Comparison|
|Oklahoma (7-3)||Split||Stephen F. Austin (8-1)|
|22-58 (37.9%)||Field Goals (%)||24-61 (39.3%)|
|3-14 (21.4%)||3 PT (%)||3-14 (21.4%)|
|8-11 (72.7%)||Free Throws (%)||5-6 (83.3%)|
|32 (14)||Rebounds (Off)||29 (12)|
The Oklahoma Sooners have not lost a non-conference game at home since 2007. That season, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks pulled off the upset over Blake Griffin and the Sooners. Fast forward to Tuesday night and the Lumberjacks made another appearance at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Unfortunately for Lon Kruger and the Sooners, the outcome was much the same as it was five years ago. It was expected to be a defensive battle and that’s exactly how it played out as Oklahoma fell 56-55 to Stephen F. Austin.
In the first half, both teams started out cold from the field as both defenses played tough. Amath M’Baye scored the games first points on a put back but that would be his lone field goal on another rough night for the big man.
The Lumberjacks really showed why they lead the country in defense as the score was tied at 11 with 12:50 left in the first half. The Oklahoma offense only connected on one field goal in a 7:09 span in the middle of the half, but Stephen F. Austin was unable to capitalize.
SFA kept the game competitive, scoring 18 points in the paint. However, with the help of some aggressive play and attacking the basket, the Sooners went on a 9-3 run to close out the first half and led 30-26 heading in to the locker room.
In the second half, Stephen F. Austin came ready to play while the Sooners sleep walked. The Sooners saw a four point lead quickly diminish and turn into a deficit. The Lumberjacks took a two point lead with 17:18 to go and it would get worse before it got better for the Sooners.
The Lumberjacks went on a 14-2 run to start the second half and made the score 45-34 with 12:15 remaining in the game. The Sooners finally came alive offensively as Andrew Fitzgerald and Steven Pledger made some crucial baskets to cut the lead and Jelon Hornbeak hit a three pointer with 4:36 remaining to give the Sooners a 52-51 lead and cap a 10-0 run.
SFA’s Hal Batemen was the player of the game for the Lumberjacks, hitting two crucial free throws with a little over a minute left to make it 56-54. Bateman finished the game with an impressive 13 points and 9 assists.
Buddy Hield had the chance to tie it with a runner but missed and was fouled with 3.9 seconds left to play. Hield knocked down the first shot, but missed the second securing another victory for the Lumberjacks in Norman.
Oklahoma fell to 7-3 on the season after a tough loss to Stephen F. Austin. Kruger’s squad has shown they have the talent to beat some quality opponents, but consistency has been an issue.
The Sooners have an eleven day break until their contest and will need to find some answers in their front court and more consistent guard play. Oklahoma’s will face the Ohio Bobcats on December 29th at 7 p.m inside the Lloyd Noble Center.