Carl Blair scored a season-high 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Romero Osby had a career-best 18 points and 10 rebounds, but that was not nearly enough as the Sooners drop the first round of Bedlam 72-65 in Stillwater.
"This was a game where in the first half, when they popped to a little bit of a margin, then we played from behind the rest of the way and never could quite get back over the hump,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “We have to play harder, we have to play smarter, we have to get on the floor after loose balls and those sorts of things. I thought O-State beat us to loose balls. We have to be more the aggressor, more often than we have been. We have a lot of work to do; a lot of work to do. We have to get back to practice and make a lot of improvement."
With the loss Oklahoma drops to 10-5 and 0-3 in conference play. The Sooners have lost their first three games in Big 12 play for the second straight season and only the third time since the conference was created.
"Conference play is tough,” said Kruger. “The level of competition has gone up a lot. We have to realize that and try to prepare for that. I don't think our guys have been surprised by it. They know this league is very, very good, and we have to do more things to make good things happen instead of just wanting good things to happen. They're a great group of guys and want a lot of good things to happen; we just have to work harder. We have to work harder and expect more and expect more out of each other, coaches, players, across the board."
Freshman Le'Bryan Nash tied his career high with 21 points, Keiton Page scored 18 to lead Oklahoma State. The Cowboys (9-7, 2-1 Big 12) didn't trail after the first four minutes and hung on to pick up their fourth win in the last five games in the rivalry.
"We're having trouble making shots,” said Kruger. “We haven't shot the ball well in any game in conference play. We have to get better movement, we have to work harder to get better shots, we have to compete harder against better defenses, do all the little things better and make progress across the board."
Next up for the Sooners is a visit from Kansas State. The Sooners and Wildcats will kick off at 12:30 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.