The Sooners hosted St. Bonaventure in Norman on Sunday evening for the second round of the NIT. After a big win over Missouri State in the opening round the Bonnie’s rolled into town looking to be the next team to put Oklahoma to the test.
They did just that and put the Sooners to test right from the opening tip. The Bonnie’s opened up with an 8-0 lead which forced Oklahoma into an early timeout. After the timeout OU came out with a little more energy, but still not enough to match that of St. Bonaventure.
The rest of the half followed a very similar pattern. It seemed like Oklahoma would come out of timeouts with a ton of energy and a well executed game plan. However, it wouldn’t be long before things started to fall a part and the Bonnie’s would take control again. After a very back and forth first half the Sooners took a 3 point lead into the break.
𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴.@KnownAs_Moja leads all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 21, 2022
📺 ESPNU | https://t.co/GmIxzz921S#BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/O0sme5KhhU
The second half was essentially much of the same with the Sooners playing stretches of ugly basketball followed by moments of greatness. You have to give credit to this team for never giving up though. There were plenty of moments where the Bonnie’s could have run away with this thing. Porter Moser was always able to get his guys together coming out of timeouts.
The Sooners were able to go on an 8-0 run down the stretch to give themselves a chance. However, they could not execute in the final minutes and it cost them. The Bonnie’s came into Norman and left with a
Game Defining Moment
Oklahoma was looking for some momentum in the second half when CJ Noland got an incredible steal and dished it to Marvin Johnson for the slam. This gave the Sooners the boost they needed to get back into the game.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒍 🤝 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒌@_MarvinJohnson with the SLAM after the @CjNoland1 steal! pic.twitter.com/QyH77SrGkZ— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 21, 2022
The hero of this game has to go to Jaren Holmes from the Bonnie’s. He led the team in scoring with 23 points. He shot 4-4 from beyond the arc and managed to grab 4 rebounds and record 3 assists as well. There’s no doubt he was the MVP for St. Bonaventure.
The Problem Child
The problem child goes to Umoja Gibson. He was clearly the best player on this Sooners roster and showed it throughout the season. In this final game he recorded 26 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. We’ve likely seen the last of Gibson in a Sooners uniform, but it’s impossible to not think of how good this team could be next season if he chose to return.
First Year Of Porter Moser Complete
Although it might have been a disappointing season, I do not think that the first year of Porter Moser as head coach was a failure. This team was completely rebuilt and had little time to figure things out before the season. I think one more year in the Moser system with guys who are returning will provide a much different look for Oklahoma basketball next season.
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