The first-round appearance by the men’s Oklahoma basketball team in the Hall of Fame Classic was doomed before the game had hardly gotten underway.
Stanford (7-0) took advantage of a painfully poor start by the Sooners to run off 17 unanswered points at the beginning of the game and building a commanding lead Lon Kruger’s team was only marginally able to cut into the rest of the way.
While Stanford was jumping out to a 17-0 lead, Oklahoma couldn’t find the bottom of the basket, missing its first nine shots to start the game. The Sooners first basket of the game came at the 14:23 mark of the opening half on a mid-range jumper by Austin Reeves. Reeves accounted for eight of OU’s first 10 points.
The Sooners cut the Stanford lead to nine points in the first half, but that was as close as they would come the remainder of the game. The Cardinal led by as many as 24 points in the second half and ended up winning by 19, 73-54.
The victory was Stanford’s seventh of the season without a loss and first over a Power Five team. The Cardinal will play Butler (6-0) on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Missouri. Oklahoma will play former Big 12 foe Missouri (4-2) in the consolation game on Tuesday.
Four takeaways from OU’s loss to Stanford:
Quick shots that weren’t going in early
The Sooners have started slowly in most of their games so far this season. This time, that slow start buried them, because while they were firing quickly and missing on nine straight shots to begin the game, Stanford was making the majority of its shots, including 3 of 4 from three-point range, at the other end. And on the ones that missed the mark, a Stanford player was there to grab the rebound and cash in on a second-chance opportunity.
OU shot just 29 percent from the floor in the first half, which contributed to a 13-point halftime deficit, 37-24.
Good bench contribution
Twenty of the Sooners’ 54 points came from the bench, led by junior-college transfer Alondes Williams’ 12 points. Freshman Victor Iwuakor contributed six points and Corbin Merritt added two.
Stanford outrebounded the Sooners by 20 (51-31), including 15 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points for the Cardinal. By contrast, Oklahoma pulled down only six offensive rebounds and had zero second-chance points.
Bad free-throw shooting
Coming into Monday night’s game with Stanford, Oklahoma was leading the Big 12 in free-throw percentage at close to 80 percent. The Sooners were nowhere near that figure against Stanford. They were just 4 of 13 from the charity stripe for just 31 percent for the night, and made just one of eight in the second half.