Sooners Go Cold In Second Half, Fall To San Diego State

Saturday, March 23rd 2013, 12:09 am
By: News 9

The 2012-13 Oklahoma basketball season was going to be deemed successful no matter what happened against San Diego State in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday night. However, since OU closed the year losing three of its last five games, the Sooners were hoping to extend their season and wash away the bitter taste with the biggest win for the program in four years.

Unfortunately, Friday's game against the Aztecs was a small picture of OU's season as a whole, as the Sooners started strong, but wilted in the second half thanks to ice-cold shooting. When it was all over, OU had lost, 70-55.

Romero Osby scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his final game in an OU uniform. Osby was the only OU player to score in double figures, although eight Sooners scored during the game. At times in the second half, it appeared Osby was running the offense by himself, as shot after shot clanked harmlessly off the rim for his teammates.

Sam Grooms and Steven Pledger each scored just three points in their final games, while Andrew Fitzgerald, a Baltimore, Md. native, barely played in his return home. Pledger in particular had a forgettable night, shooting just 1-of-8 from the field and spending most of the night saddled with foul trouble.

As a team, the Sooners shot just 39.7 percent for the game, including just 5-of-21 from 3-point range. OU scored just 22 points in the second half.

Jamaal Franklin led the Aztecs with 21 points while James Rahon, who came into the game averaging just 6.5 points per game, came off the bench to score 17 points for SDSU. Deshawn Stephens was big on the glass for the Aztecs, collecting 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

The Sooners started the game well, moving the ball and involving everyone in the offense. Down 14-11 after a Rahon jumper, the Sooners responded with a 12-0 run to grab a 23-14 lead with 9:46 remaining in the first half. San Diego State cut the lead to 27-25 but Osby responded with a 3-pointer to keep the Aztecs at bay with 4:38 remaining until halftime.

From that point until the end of the game, OU scored just 25 points, and every basket seemed to be very difficult to come by. Still, the Sooner led 33-31 at the break.

Meanwhile, San Diego State seemed to have fewer problems scoring in the second half, hitting 46.2 percent from the field in the second 20 minutes. Osby tried to keep the Sooners in it, scoring 10 of OU's first 15 points in the second half.

A layup from Cameron Clark knotted the score at 48 with 10:41 to play, but the Aztecs responded with a run that ultimately would decide the game.

San Diego State went on an 8-0 that forced a timeout from OU coach Lon Kruger. After the break, Osby drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Sooners to within five, but on the very next possession, Rahon made a 3-pointer of his own to push the lead back to eight with 6:21 remaining, effectively ending the Sooners hopes for a comeback.