Pokes takeover in Norman, quiet free crowd

Photo courtesy of The Oklahoman

After winning the biggest game of Porter Moser’s tenure as the head coach at Oklahoma, the Sooners returned to old ways Wednesday night versus their bitter rivals up north. Saturday’s 69-93 rolling of the Crimson Tide was an absolute high for the Sooners this season, after the trio of Sherfield, Hill, and Groves got into double digits, Sherfield even going for 30, and wouldn’t let their foot off the future SEC opponents throats. The crowd stormed the court, and the atmosphere was so good that the school allowed free admission for all fans willing to slide off Highway 9 to the Lloyd Noble Center.

Fact is, the crowd filled up as soon as the doors opened. “You come out and you look around and that’s the first time I’ve seen a full house like this,” Porter Moser said following the 71-61 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, when asked about the fan attendance. “It was even more crowded than Alabama, so heck yeah. Just want to say thank you to them. We’re gonna keep fighting.” Jr. Forward Jalen Hill said “It’s probably the biggest crowd that we’ve had in a while. I’ve never seen it. For them to come in and beat us the way that they did, it just sucks because we didn’t protect our court.”

Exactly 13,431 people filled up the house that Wayman built, but the Cowboys took the crowd out of the game from the jump. For a crowd that was probably the biggest factor against Alabama, it was a complete non-factor last night. Fans piled out early, and the Poke fans became the loudest group in the 2nd half. OSU star bigs Moussa Cisse & Kalib Boone both put up 18, both shooting 8-10 from the field. The duo attacked some of Oklahoma’s biggest weaknesses, the most among those being athleticism and length. In a must win game for Oklahoma, almost nothing went wrong for Mike Boynton’s squad. They weren’t perfect, but they had control of this game from the tip.

Red Panda might’ve been last night’s only highlight.

247 Sports
247 Sports

Oklahoma simply could not get anything going. Last week’s dominant trio of Grant Sherfield, Tanner Groves, and Jalen Hill struggled to hit on anything from the jump. Sherfield’s 30 from last week turned into 14 on 4-12 from the field (3-10 from 3). OSU guard Avery Anderson held Sherfield in check in Stillwater, and did it yet again this week. Hill’s only points came from the charity stripe, while Groves finished the night with 7. Milos Uzan was the 2nd leading scorer with 11.

The Sooners put up shots, but they just couldn’t go in. 16-46 shooting performance from the field, including 5-22 from 3. Not very good. Oklahoma State owned the paint the entire night, which resulted in a horrendous day for the Sooners defense. 44 points in the paint to Oklahoma’s 22. The Pokes have one of the best defenses in college hoops, which led to Oklahoma’s shooting numbers, as well as shot selection, not being on the positive side. These are shots in which Jalen Hill said they work on everyday. Yet again the Sooners were outnumbered in the rebound totals. A number of OU’s issues have been the same all season, and you seriously have to wonder if the issues run deeper than just those on the stat sheet. Oklahoma moves to 12-10 on the season, and 2-7 in the Big 12 (8th). There’s embarrassing basketball being played in Norman right now.

It also doesn’t get easier. Following a trip to Morgantown Saturday night at 7, the Sooners schedule is as follows…

  • @ No. 11 Baylor
  • vs. No. 8 Kansas
  • vs. No. 7 Baylor
  • @ No. 10 Texas
  • vs. Texas Tech
  • @ No. 13 Iowa State
  • @ No. 7 Kansas State
  • vs. No 15 TCU

And then Kansas City.

That’s 7 ranked opponents, each of which are must win games. For a team that’s struggled to find a spark or remain consistent, just get yourself buckled up.

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