The Oklahoma Sooners got 19 points from Romero Osby and 17 points from Cameron Clark as the Sooners outscored Texas A&M 23-13 over the final 11:41 in the Sooners' 64-54 All-College Classic win in Oklahoma City. It was OU's second-largest victory margin of the year and largest since the season opener vs. ULM (won 85-51).
OU's Buddy Hield (photo courtesy OU Athletic Department)
"I thought the ball game was going back and forth there for the first 25 minutes or so,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “Texas A&M is a good, physical ball club and they hurt us on the boards a little bit, especially with a little bit of a smaller lineup. Their size hurt us a little bit, but I thought our activity defensively during the second half was really a key in converting some transitions going the other way. [That] is probably what made the margin there a two or four-point game for a while, but then we popped it to 10 off of a couple steals."
Osby, who averaged 19.7 points in three games against Texas A&M last season, scored a game-high 19 today. He was 5-for-9 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free throw line while grabbing a team-high 7 rebounds.
"Texas A&M is known for being real physical,” said Osby. “They have big guys get real low, especially Ray Turner. He kind of sets the tone for the team. Coach [Lon Kruger] has been getting on us about getting more physical and attacking.
"When it is a physical game like that you just have to stick your nose in there, if that makes sense, and just try to be physical and counteract what they are doing. If they are being real physical pushing and shoving, then we have opportunities to drive by."
OU forced a season-high 19 turnovers and registered a season-high 10 steals. It posted a 20-9 scoring advantage off turnovers.
"The activity on the ball is that they set a lot of ball screens,” said Kruger. “They do a good job with that. I thought we were okay against it in the first half, but we weren't really creating any turnovers or advantages. I thought in the second half we were getting after the ball more aggressively. We had the big guys getting some hands on the dribble and guards getting back in there as well. The activity defensively was really important."
Oklahoma's bench outscored A&M's 33-13. Junior guard Cameron Clark came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting, while freshman Buddy Hield contributed 12 points in a reserve role. OU's bench has been outscored just twice this year.
"It is nice to have guys coming off the bench playing well when you have three starters who didn't get any field goals,” said Kruger. “Again, to this point, different guys coming off the bench are picking us up defensively. Buddy [Hield] did a really good job coming in the first half and gave us good activity in the second half. Cam [Clark], of course, was fantastic. It is not just scoring, but activity coming off the bench which is good energy."
The Sooners improved to 52-11 all-time in the All-College and won for the 17th time in their last 20 appearances in the event. Oklahoma also improved to 30-10 all-time against Texas A&M. The Aggies had won nine of the last 13 matchups.
OU plays again on Tuesday when it hosts Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV.