"As a team I was comfortable with how we did," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "We competed the way we were supposed to compete. I have to hand it to Ohio State, Rustam Sharipov and his staff for bringing their program back to the top. We'll be looking at them as a rival going foward."
OU easily handled Temple's total of 402.850, but Ohio State's season bests on floor, pommel horse and parallel bars combined to give the home team the advantage.
Despite the loss, the Sooners' 444.300 away score will certainly help OU's national qualifying average used for seeding at the NCAA Championships. The average is tabulated by taking the four highest scores, one of which must be a five-up, five-count score, counting no more than two home meets. The highest of these four scores will be replaced with the conference championship meet score, then an average is taken.
The meet was Oklahoma's last before the MPSF Championships on Saturday, March 29, at 4 p.m. CT in Norman.
"I thought we had a good meet," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "In terms of overall hit percentage, I was pleased. We could do a little better job landing dismounts going forward, but for a road competition we did what we could do and I was happy to see us back on track."
Freshman Colin Van Wicklen earned scores of 15.000 or higher on all three of his events for the Sooners, including a 15.000 on floor, 15.300 on vault and 15.200 on high bar.
Starting the meet on pommel horse, junior Michael Reid led the Sooners with a score of 15.000 to lead OU's team total of 74.000. Junior Sergey Resnick added a 14.900 while senior Raymond White scored 14.850.
Moving to still rings, junior Michael Squires took second overall and top marks among all Sooners with a 15.350. OU's four other competitors finished with scores between 14.600 and 14.750 to round out a team score of 74.100, the top total of any team on the day.
The Sooners found themselves in an early hole after the first two rotations, down 151.250 to 148.100 thanks to two team totals by the Buckeyes that were both well over their season highs.
Four Sooners scored above a 15.000 on floor exercise to help narrow the gap, with White on top at 15.300. Sophomore Kanji Oyama submitted a 15.200 routine, while Alec Robin scored 15.150 and Van Wicklen had a 15.000.
Oklahoma's Danny Berardini scored a team-high 14.900 on parallel bars, followed closely by senior Presten Ellsworth and freshman Allan Bower, each with 14.800 scores, as OU finished wiht a 73.600 on the event.
Jacoby Rubin made his first appearance of the season for OU on parallel bars after shoulder surgery rehab had caused him to miss most of the year. The junior was solid, scoring a 14.550 on parallel bars before tying a team high of 15.200 on high bar.
Van Wicklen's 15.200 on high bar helped the Sooners and was added to junior Will Clement's score of 15.150 and senior Stanton Rehkemper with a 15.000. Unfortunately, two falls by Berardini led to a 72.000 team total.
The Sooners bounced back admirably on vault, tying a season best with 75.250 to crack open the door for a late comeback. But despite two falls on high bar, Ohio State but stuck its final routines to seal the victory.
"We put out four new vaults and everybody landed," Williams said. "It was a great way to finish the meet. We added Jacoby into the lineup and he did a good job for both of those events, so there were definitely bright spots among the individual performances."
For OU, Van Wicklen led with a 15.300, tying a career high, and Ellsworth hit a 15.150 routine on the vault. White, Robin and Oyama were close behind with scores of 14.950, 14.950 and 14.900, respectively.
OU will take two weeks to prepare for the MPSF Championships on Saturday, March 29, at 4 p.m. CT. The Sooners will be hosting the event, which will include Stanford, Cal and Air Force, looking to win its third-straight conference title.