Oklahoma lost it’s first game in the Porter Moser era and it’s one that they most likely would like to have back. The Sooners let a second half lead slip away as they failed to both score points and defend the basket during the closing minutes. The Aggies outscored OU 32-30 in the first half and despite the Sooners going on a 12-4 run early in the second half, they outscored the Sooners 41-40 in the second.
Tanner Groves and Mo Gibson scored 16 points each and were supported by 10 points each from Jalen Hill and Elijah Harkless. Jordan Goldwire was the only Oklahoma starter not to score in double figures, finishing the game with 9.
Game Defining Moment
This was just a matter of Oklahoma not being able to close out. The Sooners led Utah State 64-58 with 5:07 remaining in the game. Elijah Harkless had just made a 3-point shot and Oklahoma seemed to be riding a wave of momentum. That wave would quickly come crashing down though as the Aggies would end the game on a 15-6 run to steal the game, win the championship, and give Porter Moser his first loss at OU.
Utah State’s bench scored four points. That’s right, FOUR! Oklahoma just lost to a team that scored a total of four bench points.
After making a good run on the boards, Oklahoma was out worked in this one. The Sooners had outrebounded three opponents in a row before Utah State out worked them for a rebounding margin of 39-32. That’s a slim margin but when you lose by just three points it makes a big difference.
The Sooners couldn’t earn consistent trips for the free throw line and they couldn’t keep Utah State off the charity stripe. The Aggies shot 21 free throw attempts to Oklahoma’s 8.
The Problem Child
Moore, Oklahoma native, and Utah State forward Justin Bean scored a game high 24 points and came away with 19 rebounds.
Mo Gibson shot 4-of-7 from three-point range to tie Tanner Groves for a team best 16 points. Gibson also dished out three assists and came away with two steals. Groves pulled down seven boards and had three assists.
The Sooners will return to Norman on Wednesday night to host Houston Baptist at 7:00 PM.
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