Oklahoma basketball: Takeaways from Sooner weekend hardwood double-double

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma basketball men and women completed a weekend double-double on Saturday with wins over Oklahoma State and Iowa State, respectively.

This marked the third time in five consecutive weekends that both Sooner basketball teams posted a Big 12 win on the same day. The OU men struggled but managed to muster enough to get by Oklahoma State 66-62 for their second straight win. The Lady Sooners, meanwhile, had an easier time, winning 86-72 at Iowa State for their eighth consecutive victory and sole possession of first place in the Big 12 standings.

The Sooner men improved to 18-6 overall and 6-5 in the Big 12 with the Bedlam win over their in-state rivals. Oklahoma was as much as a 12-point favorite at home against the cellar-dwelling Cowboys, but the game never unfolded that way. In fact, for spurts in the game, Oklahoma State looked like the better team.

The game was fairly tight throughout with neither team holding a lead greater than seven points, and that was a 20-13 margin by Oklahoma with 4:25 remaining in the opening half. The Sooners led for nearly 30 minutes of the contest, but there were 10 ties and eight lead changes indicative of the closeness of the game. A field goal by OSU scoring leader Javon Small gave the Cowboys a 56-52 lead, their largest of the game.

The OU men responded with a 9-0 run to put the Sooners up 61-56 led by Jalon Moore. The Cowboys narrowed the advantage to a single point in the closing minutes, but Oklahoma held on, making five of six free throws in the final seconds, to close out the close win.

It was a much different story for the OU women. The Lady Sooners rolled out to a 49-35 advantage in the first half. Iowa State got no closer than 10 points the entire second half as OU shot 46 percent for the game and made 13 three-pointers in picking up its seventh road win of the season. Louisville transfer Payton Verhulst lead the way with a game-high 25 points, her second highest scoring output of the season.

Three takeaways from the Bedlam win by the Sooner men

  • The shots may not have been dropping consistently for the Sooners, but they did not let that affect their toughness on defense. OU held Oklahoma State to just 19 field goals in 62 attempts, a shooting percentage of 30.6 percent. third-lowest allowed by OU all season.
  • Oklahoma started out the 2023-24 season as a good free throw-shooting team, but that has not been the case in recent Big 12 games. Against Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Sooners went to the free-throw line 24 times, but made just 15. Those nine misses could have made this outcome much different.
  • The Sooners found a way to win this game despite just 12 combined points by their two leading scorers. Javian McCollum scored just seven points (half his per-game average), and Otega Oweh contributed only five total points (less than half of his 11-point average).

Three key observations from the 8th straight win by the Lady Sooners

  • Payton Verhulst's game-high 25 points included a career-best six three-pointers. She scored 10 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter.
  • Oklahoma's win is the Lady Sooners' first at Iowa State since the 2017 season and just the 14th all-time.
  • The Sooners received 54 points from its five starters and another 32 points from five players off the bench. Among the starters, senior Skylar Vann had a dozen points, reaching double digits for the 16th straight game.