Feb. 4, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Iowa State super forward Royce White wasn't even looking toward the basket.
Not only did White not take a shot until 1:37 to play, he looked disinterested. Not involved. Pretty much a non-factor.
So, how the heck did the Sooners let Saturday's game against the Cyclones get away?
Well, despite a career-high 27 points from Andrew Fitzgerald and despite Romero Osby's 17 points, OU couldn't overcome Iowa State's shooting.
Make that Iowa State's record-setting shooting night.
The Cyclones made 15 3-pointers, the most-ever against an Oklahoma team, and Iowa State escaped Norman and the Lloyd Noble Center as 77-70 winners.
White came into the game averaging 14 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 assists, and while he did finish with seven assists, White took just one shot, scored just three points and had only four rebounds.
But Melvin Ejim had 21 points for the Cylcones, six ISU players made 3-pointers and the Cyclones shot 50 percent from the 3-point line.
And still the Sooners had a chance to win the game. OU tied the score at 56-56 with 7:49 left, fell behind by seven and then rallied back to within three with 43 seconds left. From there, OU's Sam Grooms turned the ball over and the Sooners didn't score the rest of the way.
"We're going to learn from what we're not doing well," OU coach Lon Kruger said. "But these guys are doing a lot of good things. We have to have more good possessions on both ends."
The good Kruger can point to is Grooms and his nine assists and just two turnovers, along with the Sooners outrebounding Iowa State 38-29.
But the bad sticks out some, too. OU gave up 10 3-pointers to Iowa State in the first half and the Cyclones repeatedly got open looks. They had just eight shots in the first half that weren't 3-pointers.
"We didn't handle that as well as we needed to," Kruger said.
Said Osby: "You hate to see that. Seemed like they were making everything today. It was kind of frustrating."
Frustrating because it came when White, a first-team all-conference probability, had just one shot and one free throw and was taken out of the offense by the Sooners.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald was sensational with his 11-of-19 shooting. Osby chipped in, going 6-of-9, and Pledger ralled the Sooners with four 3-pointers and 14 points.
It still wasn't enough to overcome ISU's hot outside shooting.
"The 3s make it worse," Grooms said. "They made shots tonight. We have to get better. No other way to talk about it."