Men's basketball: Sooners slated to play TCU in Big 12 battle
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team will look to build on its big victory against Kansas when it plays against TCU at 6 tonight at Lloyd Noble Center.
The last time the Sooners (15-7, 6-4 Big 12) played, they pulled off their biggest win of the season by far, a 72-66 upset over No. 5 Kansas.
“A lot of different guys stepped up and made plays,” coach Lon Kruger said. “We hit just enough jumpers to keep our heads above water, but Kansas fought to the very end.”
OU had multiple players perform extremely well under pressure as they worked to keep the Jayhawks at bay.
Senior forward Romero Osby had a big game for the Sooners, posting 17 points to go along with eight rebounds.
“It’s a testament to my teammates and my coaches,” Osby said. “They ran things for me to get my confidence up, and my teammates continued to get me the ball, and that ended up being the deciding factor.”
Osby wasn’t the only hero for the Sooners, however, as freshman guard Je’lon Hornbeak scored seven points in the final 1:29 of the game, including a clutch 3-pointer to push the Oklahoma lead to 66-61.
“Coach Kruger put me in the game and said, 'Be ready. There’s going to be a time where you have to knock a shot down,'” Hornbeak said. “Steve [senior guard Steven Pledger] is always on my back, telling me big players make big shots.”
After such an emotional victory, the Sooners will try to play within themselves and not overlook TCU (10-13, 1-9 Big 12).
The Horned Frogs are led by the duo of sophomore guard Kyan Anderson and senior forward Garlon Green.
Anderson averages 11.3 points and 3.1 assists per game, while Green chips in with 10.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
TCU already has shown that it can take advantage of an unprepared team, as it also was able to beat Kansas last week.
In that game, the Horned Frogs were able to put the brakes on Kansas’ offense and hold them to a paltry 13 first-half points en route to a 62-55 victory.
The Sooners will look to keep TCU from dictating the flow of the game, as the Horned Frogs like to play at a slow pace with an emphasis on defense.
TCU ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 58.5 points per game.
However, they also rank last in scoring offense, only managing 54.3 points per game for themselves.