Creating a turnover on the defensive side of the court, the Oklahoma Sooners raced to the other end. Finding an open Christian James standing along the perimeter, the guard received the ball. Utilizing the pump fake, the program’s leading scorer attacked the rim tying the game at 69-69 with 1:55 left in regulation. The effort mark the first time in the contest the two teams found themselves knotted up since tip off.
Retreating once again, James drew the task of defending Marial Shayock — the leading scorer for the Iowa State Cyclones. In a high pressure situation, the senior stepped up to the challenge. Eyeing the rim, Shayock let the ball fly from beyond the arc. Connecting on the attempt, ISU regained the lead at 72-69. With several fouls to give, the single act forced Oklahoma into fouling numerous time in an attempt to gain possession.
Sending Talen Horton-Tucker to the charity stripe, Iowa State extended the lead by one point. Streaking down the court, Aaron Calixte tried to narrow the gap with a three pointer of his own. However, the shot was blocked as a scramble ensued in the waning seconds of the second half giving OU another chance.
As one of the premier set piece minds in the game, Lon Kruger knew the opposing huddle preached ‘no foul’ continuously. Taking advantage of the lack of aggressiveness, the ball moved toward the inside on the set piece to Kristian Doolittle. Finding the bottom of the net on the short jumper, the forward pulled the Sooners to within 73-71 with 4.2 second remaining.
Opting to foul Shayock, an 88% free throw shooter down the stretch was not ideal. Sealing the fate of the game behind to consecutive free throws, Iowa State simply sat back while Jamal Bieniemy floated a three pointer that hit at the buzzer. Unable to make something happen in the final seconds, Oklahoma fell 75-74.
Now facing a three game losing streak, the Sooners host a formidable Texas Tech program next.