After downing the Iowa State Cyclones in the first round of the Big XII Tournament, the Oklahoma Sooners are moving on. The effort ends a four game skid that ended the regular season as the program quickly fell to the No. 7 seed. Playing to move up in the eyes of the selection committee, OU will now face the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday evening in a quarter final bout.
De’Vion Harmon may have collected 18 points throughout the duration of the contest. Yet, the freshman guard provided the largest lead of the game by down a three pointer with 12:18 left in regulation. Extending the margin to a 19-point lead, it appeared as though the group would cruise to a victory. However, the unexpected nearly unfolded as March Madness is in full swing.
Fighting back in the game, the Cyclones continued to close the gap. Cutting the deficit to six behind a Jalen Coleman-Lands three pointer, fans once again had a game of interest. While only 54 seconds remained on the clock, ISU knew of the opponent’s recent woes in the closing four minutes. Hoping to capitalize, a decision was to be made — foul or hope the defense continues to come up with steals. Opting to foul, Austin Reaves was sent to the free throw line four times.
The move proved costly as Reaves connected on all four attempts. In addition two others add three points via the charity stripe in the closing seconds. Ultimately, the Sooners claimed a 79-73 win. In a venue that has not been kind to Oklahoma, Lon Kruger will gladly accept the narrow margin while preparing for the next challenger.