OU basketball notebook: M'Baye bounces back
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 3:56 AM
Related Story: Pledger, Sooners rout Red Raiders
Amath M'Baye was one of Oklahoma's missing ingredient in Saturday's overtime loss at Oklahoma State. The starting forward finished with six points and five rebounds.
It figured he might come out with a purpose Wednesday night at Texas Tech, and he did.
M'Baye's pass to Steven Pledger set up the game's first points. Then he took scoring into his own hands with a baseline jumper, two free throws, a left-wing 3-pointer and a floater.
M'Baye's personal nine-point run helped OU into a 12-6 lead while setting the tone for a big offensive night for his team. He finished with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
"Amath is capable of doing that. He's done it in stretches," OU coach Lon Kruger said. "Tonight, even in the foul trouble, he played his minutes well. He looked explosive and quick around the bucket and quick to rebounds. We'd love to see that continue, and expect it to."
They whistled while they worked: M'Baye, Romero Osby and Andrew Fitzgerald - the Sooners' rotation of big men - all finished with four fouls. Officials Darron George and Ray Natili, working one man short because third referee Tom O'Neill couldn't make it into fog-shrouded Lubbock, called 43 fouls.
"There were a lot of whistles," Osby noticed, "but credit the referees. There were only two of them, so they had to work hard to see everything. I think they did a good job of officiating the game. It was something we had to adjust to.
"We came out with the win, so I don't have any complaints."
Cousins shaken: Freshman Isaiah Cousins had one assist, one missed shot and four turnovers in 10 minutes as OU's point guard. Counterpart Josh Gray picked him clean for all four turnovers. Two of them came 13 seconds apart midway through the second half.
Kruger called time after Cousins' second turnover, and several OU players rushed over to the visibly-shaken freshman as he moped off the court.
"Being a point guard, it's tough," said Sam Grooms, the senior who replaced Cousins. "If he was out there making plays and everything was going right everybody would have praised him. I had to explain to him it's tough right now. It's not as bad as it looks. He made a couple mistakes.
"Now he's got to regroup and understand that tomorrow he has to get better. I tried to pick him up as much as I could, because I've been there before."
Nothing serious: Starting guard Je'lon Hornbeak limped out of the game with 13:14 remaining and never returned.
"He's fine," Kruger reported. "He was just a little sore and could have come back. Cam was rolling pretty good, so we didn't have to go back with him."
Cameron Clark, Hornbeak's replacement, finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.