For the first time since 2009, the Oklahoma men’s basketball team is headed back to the Elite 8 after a convincing 77-63 win over Texas A&M in the Sweet 16.
It was Jordan Woodard who led the way for OU, as the junior guard tallied 22 points while the likely National Player of the Year, Buddy Hield, totaled his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Five OU players scored in double digits in the win.
Another impressive tourney #OU win. Healthy, confident & facing Oregon or Duke to advance to Final 4. Hard 2 beat that. @News9 #MarchMadness— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 25, 2016
Another impressive tourney #OU win. Healthy, confident & facing Oregon or Duke to advance to Final 4. Hard 2 beat that. @News9 #MarchMadness
After a rough 3-for-11 start for OU, the Sooners were able to kick it into gear about five minutes into the first half. Led by Hield and Woodard, the Sooners went on a 9-to-0 run to go up 24-18 after an encouraging sequence that featured a Khadeem Lattin alley-oop and a Woodard 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.
That wasn’t the only first half run Lon Kruger’s Sooners had in the tank. Woodard’s layup in the closing seconds of the first half capped off a 19-to-2 Oklahoma run as the Sooners went into intermission with a 45-26 lead.
This is where #OU should kick it in high gear and widen lead against an a/m team that's gotta be wondering if the water's too deep. @news9— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 25, 2016
This is where #OU should kick it in high gear and widen lead against an a/m team that's gotta be wondering if the water's too deep. @news9
Not only were the Sooners playing efficient offense during their dominant first half, but its defense was equally tremendous. OU tallied three first half steals while Lattin was a force in the paint with his shot-blocking prowess.
For the second straight half it was the Sooners who were playing suspect basketball out of the gates, as the Aggies chipped away at their deficit and got within 11 points before OU eventually got it together.
From that point on, it seemed like any time A&M made a big play, the Sooners were always ready with a response. An overall dominant performance by Oklahoma was put away with 4:43 left in the game after Jordan Woodard drained a 3-pointer while getting fouled to put the Sooners up 75-55.
Oklahoma shot 49.2 percent from the field in the win, while converting 11-of-25 three-point attempts.
Along with Woodard and Hield’s great performance, Lattin and Ryan Spangler each added 10 points while freshman Christian James came off the bench to score 12 points.
The Sooners will play the winner of Duke and Oregon in the Elite 8 on Saturday.
Buddy Hield hanging out with one of his idols...Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/y9qcpTVNPs— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 25, 2016
Buddy Hield hanging out with one of his idols...Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/y9qcpTVNPs