Same old story for Oklahoma State in Norman as Sooners roll Cowboys
NORMAN, Okla. -- The last nine times Oklahoma State has visited Oklahoma, the Sooners have sent their in-state rivals back north up the highway with a a mark in the loss column. Monday night's affair—the first time 'Bedlam' has seen both teams nationally ranked since 2005—was no different.
Behind 18 points from Jordan Woodard and a double-double from Ryan Spangler, No. 23 Oklahoma flattened No. 8 Oklahoma State, 88-76, in front of a sellout crowd and a nationally televised audience. The Sooners, who led by as many as 17 points during the game, won their fourth straight game, taking sole possession of second place in the Big 12 and scoring their third victory over a ranked conference opponent this season. The Cowboys, meanwhile, piled up miss after miss and foul after foul, and are now third in the Big 12 behind Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The loss capped off an unpleasant 48 hours for Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart. On Saturday, the All-American lost his temper in a 81-75 win against West Virginia, in which the Mountaineers physically manhandled him, causing him to lose his cool and walk out of sight behind the bleachers at Gallagher-Iba Arena while the game was still in doubt. Against Oklahoma, he quickly notched six points in the game’s first four minutes. But with two fouls before the game's 11-minute mark, he also found himself with a nice view from the bench, yelling instructions to teammates who managed to stay on the floor.
Smart led all scorers with 22 points, but his team found itself unable to make up the early lost ground. Oklahoma State's play was marred with sloppy play, with turnovers, missed shots and fouls aplenty, as the Cowboys couldn't keep Oklahoma off the free-throw line. The Sooners attempted 42 free throws, cashing in on 30 of them.
“Every time we would make a run, we would make a silly play, and they are making free throws every time you turn around," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. "You have to give them credit. We can’t keep getting into foul trouble, our room for error is pretty small. And we didn’t defend very well.”
Oklahoma came away with the win despite a quiet night from its leading scorer, forward Cameron Clark, who came in averaging more than 17 points a game. Clark finished with just seven points and six rebounds, but a balanced attack from Woodard (who scored 17 of his team-high 18 points in the second half), reserve Tyler Neal (15 points) and Spangler (13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds) kept the Sooners in front all night.
“It’s just different guys on different nights," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "It’s early in the grind, and we need to get better in the next three or four days. I think we are getting better in the toughness department, we are making big strides and we are growing. It makes it more satisfying.”
Woodard scored his team’s first eight points of the second half, pushing the Sooners lead to 56-43, and Oklahoma took advantage of a woeful shooting night by Oklahoma State. The Cowboys hit just nine of their 24 three-point attempts—Smart went 3-of-11 from range. Phil Forte was able to keep the game from getting completely out of hand by hitting all six of his three-point shots, finishing with 20 points on the day, but foul trouble for Smart and Le'Bryan Nash cripped the Cowboys offensively. Nash, who scored a career-high 29 points against West Virginia, ended the night with just eight points in 17 minutes and fouled out with four minutes left in the game.
-- Scooby Axson