Senior Romero Osby scored 22 points to lead Oklahoma past Iowa State 86-69 Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center. Some 10,789 fans were on hand as the Sooners improved to 19-9 on the year and 10-6 in the Big 12.
"We are really proud of our guys,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “I thought their ability to bounce back and play like they did today is a tribute to the leadership and the older guys, especially Roe [Osby]. After that disappointment on Wednesday Roe said, `OK guys, we are going to regroup and focus on the 32 good minutes and learn from the last seven.' I thought our guys really did that the last couple of days in practice. Roe has done that for us all year and obviously the other guys jump in there and follow his lead without hesitation. Good day for the seniors. I thought Sam [Grooms] played great and knocked down some jumpers there early and got us to a good start and took care of the ball. The guys moved the ball well as they have been doing. Again, [good] to beat a good Iowa State ball club, but even more important is having to be able to celebrate with the seniors on their day."
Oklahoma tied an NCAA record for free throw makes without a miss (34) and moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Big 12.
"This has been a good free throw shooting team,” said Kruger. “That is extreme of course; they start making them and, like anything else, momentum builds and guys go up there expecting to make them. I didn't realize at the time that we didn't miss any and I don't think they did either. It's nice to see them get up there a shoot with confidence."
Iowa State entered the game out rebounding its opponents by an average of 5.0 per game on the season to rank second in the Big 12, but the Sooners recorded a 36-27 glass advantage today. They limited ISU to just four offensive boards.
"Our guys put up a lot of extra shots for situations when guys try to double down on me and the other big guys,” said Osby. “The credit goes to our guards - they step up and make shots and when they do that it makes it a lot easier for us to operate down there. I think teams are more reluctant to double team when those guys are making shots."
The Sooners showed very little hang over from the loss to Texas earlier this past week. The Sooners dropped a 22 point lead to lose to the Longhorns in Overtime.
"They recovered and have done a good job all year on focusing on the next game,” said Kruger. “You have to attribute that to the leadership of Roe [Osby] and the other guys. I thought Friday's practice was really sharp and really crisp. The players get over it a little more quickly than maybe fans and coaches do. But, they did a good job. They bounced back."
OU is back in action Wednesday when it hosts West Virginia at 8 p.m. (ESPN2). The Sooners are already 2-0 against the Mountaineers this season.