The Oklahoma Sooners and San Diego State Aztecs came into their first round NCAA college basketball tournament game with high hopes. Earlier in the day, the second seeded Georgetown Hoyas fell to 15 seeded Florida Gulf Coast. This did not guarantee the winner of the game anything, but it did make the road to the Sweet 16 look a little easier. Unfortunately, the final game for seniors Romero Osby and Steven Pledger ended in a loss, as the Sooners fell to the Aztecs, 70-55.
What was most disappointing was that Oklahoma led by double-digits in the first half before squandering that lead and heading into halftime with only a 33-31 lead over San Diego State. When Aztecs’ coach Steve Fisher returned to the court after the break, he told reporters that his team needed to play better defense. You could tell he was not happy and his team surely heard an earful in the locker room.
It showed as the Aztecs outscored the Sooners 39-22 in the second half, a period where San Diego State played with a lot of fire and the Sooners seemed deflated and overmatched.
James Franklin scored 21 points and James Rahon finished with 17 for San Diego State. Those two helped the Aztecs take an 8-0 run in the second half to break a tie and the Sooners just couldn’t hit the shots needed to come back from the deficit.
Romero Osby scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Oklahoma Sooners in the game. Osby was who needed to step up for Oklahoma to win, but he needed help that never came. In his final game for Oklahoma, senior Steven Pledger only played 22 minutes and finished with more fouls (4) than points (3). Pledger was 1-of-8 from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc, the spot he has been money for his four years in Norman.
Amath M’Baye finished the game with eight points and no other Sooners’ player eclipsed six. On the night, Oklahoma only hit 39.7-percent of their shots and were only 50-percent from the charity stripe. Comparatively, San Diego State hit 42.9-percent from the field and were 94.1-percent from the charity stripe, while out-rebounding Oklahoma 36-28.
To see the full stats, visit soonersports.com.