OU Basketball Notebook: Fresh five
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
2/05/13 at 5:15 AM
When Oklahoma reached the first timeout of Monday night's loss at Iowa State, Lon Kruger reached for help. He sent reserves Andrew Fitzgerald, Cameron Clark, Tyler Neal, Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins in for starters Romero Osby, Amath M'Baye, Steven Pledger, Sam Grooms and Buddy Hield.
"We weren't getting at all what we needed," Kruger said. "I think they had 20 points in the first six or seven minutes. That's not what we'd like to have happen at all. The second group came in and battled a little, but we didn't open with the fight that you have to have."
The substitutes didn't do a whole lot to cool Iowa State's hot start. But at least they provided some offense.
When the game ended, OU's top three scorers were all reserves. Fitzgerald scored 12 points to equal his season high. Cousins finished with 10, matching his career-high from OU's loss to Gonzaga on Nov. 23. A last-second dunk gave Clark 10, tying his Big 12 season-high.
Sooners stay down: Before Monday, OU had responded to all of its losses with an encouraging result.
There was the 77-70 victory over West Virginia to close out the Old Spice Classic after a blowout loss to Gonzaga. A 64-54 All-College Classic win over Texas A&M after an early December loss at Arkansas. A 74-63 victory over 2012 Sweet Sixteen team Ohio University after a stunning loss to Stephen F. Austin.
In Big 12 play, OU defeated Texas after losing at Kansas State, then won at Baylor four days after falling at Kansas.
The Sooners figured they'd get off the canvas again after bowing to K-State on Saturday.
"We put a big emphasis on this game, that we needed to come out and play as hard as we can," Fitzgerald said. "And it was really disappointing."
Grooms a starter: Desperate to get his offense going in the wake of the K-State loss, Kruger had Grooms make his first start of the season at point guard. Grooms finished with two points (on 1-of-3 shooting), one assist and one rebound in 15 minutes.
He started for Hornbeak at the point. Hornbeak wound up with three points, two turnovers and one assist in 13 minutes.
OU's most productive point guard was Cousins. The freshman had 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and one turnover in 25 minutes, the most he has played in Big 12 games.