Making no excuses for the lack of available scholarship players on Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners set out to defend home court. Attempting to secure a fifth consecutive win, only on thing stood in the way…the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide. Battling back-and-forth, the game would ultimately come down to this:
Refusing to foul Elijah Harkless with the clock winding down, the guard found himself near the free throw line. Spinning and delivering a couple of head fakes, the shot clock became a factor. Looking up and fading away, Harkless delivered a dagger to put the Sooners up by four. The move forced the hand of the visitors as John Petty Jr. missed a three point attempt on the other end.
Harkless finished off the opponent with a defensive rebound and a made free throw pushing the lead to five with second remaining in regulation. Collecting 14 points for Oklahoma, the junior provided a boost on both ends of the floor. In addition to the scoring output, Harkless grabbed five defense rebounds and added three steals to the stat sheet.
Clearly the most talented player on the roster, De’Vion Harmon continues to flourish. Netting a game-high 18 points, the confidence of the sophomore is unparalleled. Whether driving of stepping back to take a three pointer, Harmon is the go to option without Austin Reaves down the stretch.
As a team, the Sooners found themselves unable to get to the charity stripe consistently. Yet, it may have worked out in Oklahoma’s favor this go around. Shooting well below the seasonal average, the program hit on a mere 57.1% at the attempts at the line.
Where the group excelled though, was on the offensive glass. Pulling down a total of 42 rebounds, 14 of those came provided a second scoring opportunity. The brand of basketball Oklahoma is capable of should scare future opponents.
Up next, the Sooners step back into conference play to face a ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders squad.