Final Four Bound: Hield's 37 Points Lead Sooners Past Ducks In Elite Eight

Saturday, March 26th 2016, 8:43 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

Oklahoma is Final Four bound for the first time since 2002 after the Sooners 80-68 win over No. 1 Oregon in the Elite Eight.

The Sooners weren’t fazed by the magnitude of the game, and immediately seized the momentum and never let it get away.

OU superstar Buddy Hield did his part in setting the tone early in the biggest game of his career. The senior swished his first three 3-pointers along with exciting the crowd with a put back slam to get the Sooners rolling.

If it wasn’t Hield stroking the cotton, it was his wing-mates Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins carrying the load. Woodard hit his first 3-pointer of the game to put the Sooners up 11 points, and then the junior drilled another long ball before getting fouled while shooting behind the arc on the very next possession to tally nine straight points for OU.

Cousins had a pretty solid three-possession stretch of his own later on in the half, as the point guard drilled a 3-pointer to put OU up 40-25, and then stole a ball on the ensuing Oregon possession and flushed home a fast break dunk on the other end. The senior wasn’t done, as Cousins hit deep 3-pointer seconds later to put the Sooners ahead by 19.

Oregon put together a small run to end the half, but Hield made sure his opponent went into halftime with its head hanging low. With the clock running down in the first half, Hield set his feet and launched a shot from near the logo at half court that tickled the twine to give the Sooners an insurmountable halftime advantage.

Oklahoma was able to keep Oregon at a safe distance throughout most of the second half, with the biggest scare coming with 9:20 left in the game after the Ducks got within 12 points, but the Sooners wouldn’t let the Ducks get any closer as they ended up winning the game by that margin.

Hield was just as tremendous in the second half, scoring 20 of his 37 points and becoming the first player since 1990 to lead his team to the Final Four while averaging at least 25 points per game in the tournament.

Jordan Woodard added 13 points on 3-for-8 shooting while Isaiah Cousins scored 11 of his own. Oklahoma’s bench didn’t put up a lot of numbers, but Christian James, Dante Buford and Jamuni McNeace produced solid minutes for the Sooners.

Elgin Cook led Oregon with 24 points while leading scorer, Dillon Brooks, was limited to only seven points.

Oklahoma will play Villanova in the Final Four next Saturday.