Just hours after Oklahoma was named the No. 1 team in the latest AP Poll, the Sooners fell to No. 19 Iowa State in Ames tonight by a score of 82-77. Georges Niang led the way with 22 points and Iowa State got all of its offense from its starting five.
It’s easy to see how Oklahoma lost this game. The team’s reliance on the three-ball came back to bite them. Sure, the Sooners shot 42 percent from the field and 53 percent from long range, with star guard Buddy Hield leading with 27 points and hitting seven threes, but 14 of his 23 attempts on the night came from beyond the arc. To add insult to injury, Oklahoma only took seven free throw attempts on the evening and made just four of them. Iowa State, on the other hand, shot 14 of 17 from the stripe.
But then there’s the fact that Iowa State also out-rebounded Oklahoma 43-32, with Jameel McKay leading with 13 boards. Oklahoma big man Ryan Spangler had six rebounds, but was limited to two points on the evening.
That all being said, is Oklahoma in trouble? There’s still plenty of time left until the tournament, but it’s the part of the regular season where every game counts. This loss dropped the Sooners to 4-2 in Big 12 play and a half-game behind Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas for first place, so words can’t describe how important a bounce-back performance against Baylor is on Saturday.
The Cyclones, on the other hand, get something of a break against TCU after making the college basketball landscape all the more interesting tonight.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports