Oklahoma basketball: Takeaways from a wire-to-wire Sooner downer

Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

Central Florida never trailed for one second of the game against the visiting Oklahoma basketball men and rolled to a 74-63 victory over the No. 23 Sooners.

The UCF defense shut down the OU offense, holding the Sooners to a season-worst 37 percent field goal percentage and their second-worst points total of the season. The Oklahoma reserves scored 34 points, five more than the Sooner starters, who were 9 of 25 from the field for a putrid 25.7 percent.

Oklahoma's two leading scorers in the game -- Le'Tre Darthard with 14 points and Rivaldo Soares with 11 -- came off the bench. Jalon Moore, whose been playing the best basketball of all the Sooners in the last three games -- led the starters with a double-double: 10 points and 11 rebounds .

UCF jumped in from 5-0 to start the game, and Oklahoma was able to get no closer than two points the rest of the first half. Four Sooner turnovers in the first three minutes set the ill-fated tone for this game early. The Knights (13-8 and now 4-5 in the Big 12) led 34-27 at halftime and slowly built on that advantage in the second half, opening up a 10-point margin less than five minutes into the second stanza. UCF maintained a double-digit advantage most all of the second half and extended to lead to as many as 17 points with under four minutes to go.

The Knights were getting it done on both ends of the floor, creating offense from their defense. UCF forced 15 Oklahoma turnovers and consistently frustrated the Sooners on offense, producing 12 steals and blocking nine shots. Unlike OU, UCF got strong production from their starting five. Three Knight starters scored in double figures led by Jaylin Sellers with a game-high 20. Antwann Jones contributed 15 and Darius Johnson added 14.

Oklahoma must now regroup and get ready for a Tuesday home game against No. 22 BYU.

Takeaways from Oklahoma's disappointing performance at UCF

  • The Sooners did better at the free-throw line vs. UCF, making 18 of 22, but unfortunately they sent the Knights to the charity stripe 32 times and they cashed it in for 28 points.
  • UCF's nine blocked shots were the most against Oklahoma all season.
  • Oklahoma's two leading scorers on the season, Javian McCollum and Otega Oweh combined for 14 points, 13 below their combined season average. McCollum was just 2 for 10 from the field and Oweh took just four shots in the game, making two.
  • This was OU's worst offensive performance of the season. The UCF defense had much to say about that. UCF ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring defense (65.0 points per game) and fifth in field goal percentage defense (40.3).