Oklahoma Sooners

Manek Returns To Starting Lineup As Sooners Defeat Cyclones 79-72

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Iowa State’s quest for a first win in conference play is going to have to wait a little longer. That’s not to say the Cyclones didn’t provide OU with a scare in the LNC on Saturday. Solomon Young, Rasir Bolton, Jalen Coleman-Lands, and Javan Johnson all scored in double figures as ISU pulled to within four points at the half and remained that close with 3:18 remaining in the game.

Sometimes you have to win ugly and that’s exactly what the Sooners did in a game that was necessary to maintain the third place spot in the Big 12 standings.

Game Defining Moment

Oklahoma used the final three minutes and change to secure Saturday’s victory. Leading 68-64 at the 3:18 mark, the Sooners went on a 5-0 run to push the lead to nine points at 73-64. Elijah Harkless scored nine of OU’s11 points during the final three minutes of the game and despite Iowa State sinking two three-point shots during the span, the Sooners increased their lead from four to seven points in the win.

Wait…What?

Despite my best efforts not to continually rail on Big 12 officiating (In any sport) the conference keeps providing ammunition such as this. How in the world was this a single technical…much less the double technical that was called?

Manek Returns To Starting Lineup

Something that I openly questioned would happen on our podcast finally did and I’m glad to say that I was wrong. Senior forward Brady Manek returned to Oklahoma’s starting lineup on Saturday and enjoyed one of his most productive outings since missing time last month. The Harrah, Oklahoma native scored 9 points, grabbed 15 boards, and dished out a season-high 4 assists. He also helped Austin Reaves complete a sweet alley-oop.

Cyclones Made It Rain

The Sooners survived a barrage of Iowa State three-point shots to pick up win number 12 on the season. The Cyclones were 16-of-31 from beyond the arch, led by Rasir Bolton who went 5-of-8.

The Problem Child

Bolton’s three-point shooting helped keep Iowa State in the game. The junior guard scored a game-high 21 points while also dishing out 4 assists and grabbing 7 boards. In a losing effort he surpassed 1,000 career points as a cyclone.

Hero Ball

Four Sooners scored in double figures on Saturday. Jalen Hill produced 11 points off the bench while starters Austin Reaves and Mo Gibson scored 16 and 18 points respectively. However, it was Elijah Harkless who pushed his way to a team-high 19 points by his strong closeout to the game. He also pulled down six rebounds while going 6-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

Up Next

Oklahoma’s mid-week game against Baylor has been canceled due to the Bears suspending basketball operations, for the time being, due to covid precautions. As a result the Sooners won’t play again until next Saturday when they visit #17 West Virginia.

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