It couldn’t happen again for OU basketball, could it? An incredible crowd, a rival in town and yet another mind-boggling frustrating performance.
The crowd was fantastic. Oklahoma State was at the Lloyd Noble Center. But this time OU found a way to close the show in a 66-62 victory on Saturday night.
OU trailed 56-52 with 5:40 left but ended the game on a 14-6 run to give head coach Porter Moser just his second Bedlam victory in his Sooner tenure.
Moser admitted what everybody thought – hey, that wasn’t pretty. But when you’re scratching and clawing for every win, you’ll take it.
And it had to happen in all sorts of different ways. Technical fouls galore led to lineups that had never been on the court before. But it worked.
Javian McCollum only had one field goal in the game. However, he drained the four free throws down the stretch to wrap it up.
OU needed it. Moser needed it. Mission accomplished.
“I thought the crowd had tremendous energy,” Moser said. “They were there whole time. It’s what’s you envision, to look around it’s completely filled and to have them walking away with a win. I mean, it was. And it wasn’t the prettiest thing. It wasn’t. I mean, all the different things, just how it went down.
“We were up seven and all of a sudden, we get a technical, two free throws, we foul a three point shooter and then John gets a foul on a ball screen. Boom, that’s seven free throws, just like that. There were so many ebbs and flows and the crowd just stayed high energy. So yea, definitely it means a lot to them, and for us, we still have some huge home games, and they make a difference.”
McCollum’s final two free throws made it OU 65-62. OU actually tried to foul but didn’t. And then Rivaldo Soares came up with a steal with less than five seconds to go to seal it.
“And Waldo made a nice poke and just got it. Got a big stop,” Moser said.
Bedlam Round 2 is in Stillwater in two weeks.
Game 24 Bedlam Takeaways
*This was the day for the bench. And OU got some huge minutes from redshirt freshman Luke Northweather. Because of Sam Godwin fouling out from the bench on a technical, had to adapt to things.
Northweather scored five points and had three assists. But once again, what Moser stressed was Northweather being ready for the moment.
“The guys were so happy for Luke Northweather,” Moser said. “It’s very hard to not play, and then all of a sudden get in this atmosphere. So, in 10 minutes he had five points, he had three assists, and he drew three fouls. He drew three fouls. So, what a good 10 minutes.”
OU got 29 points from that group, going nine strong in Bedlam. Le’Tre Darthard nailed three 3-pointers, including maybe the biggest one of the game to give OU a 59-56 lead.
*Jalon Moore was terrific again. He’s still finding ways to score, leading the team with 15 points. But he also had eight rebounds and four huge blocks defensively.
As OU was putting the clamps down on OSU down the stretch, Moore had the final one of his blocks to get the LNC crowd going again.
*Simply put, it’s not good with McCollum. One field goal, disappearing at times. For whatever reason, though, when it matters most, he wants the ball.
Wants it and delivers. OU was once 5-of-12 from the free throw line. The Sooners closed 10 for their last 12, including McCollum’s perfect 4-for-4 night.
“That’s what makes him special,” Moser said. “He definitely wanted them. Watch, we ran the out of bounds, everything calls it football where you line at the baseline and you just start taking off because it’s hard to match. And Javian got it then he just took off.
“And then that was another three or four seconds off the clock. He wanted it. He wasn’t going to that off. And I love that about him. He wants that no matter what at the end of the game.”
*Adversity was the name. Some of it self-inflicted. But OU overcame it. Three technical and a flagrant foul. Sam Godwin fouling out from the bench with a technical is something you might never see again. Oweh and Moore also picked up technical fouls.
OK, stacked the two home wins. Still on pace for everything you need to do. OU (18-6, 6-5) heads to Baylor on Tuesday night. It will be the only meeting between the Sooners and Bears this season.