OU basketball notebook: How it ended
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
12/19/12 at 4:38 AM
The Sooners had themselves a chance to win Tuesday night after forcing Stephen F. Austin into a shot clock violation. Je'lon Hornbeak took the inbound pass, rushed the ball past halfcourt and called timeout.
The plan, according to coach Lon Kruger, was to inbound to Buddy Hield and have him drive to the basket, or screen for Steven Pledger and have Hield get it to OU's best shooter.
The Lumberjacks guarded Hield one-on-one, so the freshman seized the opportunity to attack the basket. He leaped and nearly finger-rolled one in while being bumped by Jacob Parker.
The layup rimmed off, and then Hield missed the second of two free throws. Hield made his first three on the night, and was 14-of-16 on the season before missing too strong.
Where it went wrong: OU closed the first half on a 9-3 run to take a 30-26 lead. It appeared the Sooners finally had some momentum.
Then the second half started and they ran smack into a wall.
Hornbeak turned the ball over. Romero Osby missed a 5-footer and committed his third foul. Amath M'Baye turned it over twice. Hornbeak committed a foul and missed a 3. Andrew Fitzgerald fouled.
Making matters worse, OU allowed Stephen F. Austin to make seven of its first nine shots and build a 42-32 lead.
"We didn't have much pop to start the second half," Kruger said. "We turned it over a couple times and then they got to the rim a couple times and shot layups. We had a decent run at the end of the first half to create a little bit of a margin, and it evened out right away."
This and that: Reserve guard Sam Grooms did not suit up after sustaining a concussion during practice last Sunday. ... M'Baye, the Big 12's Preseason Newcomer of the Year, continued his slump with three points and three turnovers. ... Hornbeak and Pledger were OU's only double-digit scorers with 12 apiece. ... Osby, OU's leading scorer and rebounder, was limited to eight points and three boards in 18 foul-plagued minutes. ... Stephen F. Austin is now 2-1 alltime against OU, having also beaten Blake Griffin's 2007-08 team 66-62 in Norman.