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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Buddy Hield said his Oklahoma Sooners wanted to make a statement against Iowa State.
TaShawn Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the 17th-ranked Sooners defeated the 14th-ranked Cyclones 94-83 on Monday night to move into sole possession of second place in the Big 12, behind Kansas.
“The statement is letting everybody know that we’re trying to come back and show that we’re for real,” Hield, the conference’s leading scorer, said. “The Big 12 is tough. Winning a game like this shows that Oklahoma is no joke.”
Isaiah Cousins scored 19 points, Hield scored 17 and Ryan Spangler added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sooners (17-7, 8-4 Big 12), who won their fifth straight. The Sooners shot 51 percent from the field and scored a season-best point total while committing just seven turnovers.
“The pace of the game was very much up-tempo, and the decisions with the ball were very good,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “We shared the ball and got it out of our hands quickly to one another. The big guys, when they caught it inside, made good decisions in kicking it out. They took care of it.”
The Sooners put up the big offensive numbers, despite shooting no free throws in the first half and six in the game. The Cyclones surrendered their highest point total of the season.
“I think, more than anything, we allowed them in transition to get their rhythm,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Listen, that’s an excellent basketball team. I think it’s as talented a team as there is in the entire country, the way those guards play, when Thomas is playing the way he is right now — and Spangler is just a load down there.”
Dustin Hogue scored a season-high 19 points, Jameel McKay scored 16 and Naz Long and Bryce Dejean-Jones added 14 for the Cyclones (17-6, 7-4), who had won three of four. Georges Niang, who entered as Iowa State’s leading scorer with 15.2 points per game, finished with seven points on 3-for-9 shooting.
Iowa State led by 10 with 3:49 left in the first half, but the Sooners rallied. In the final minute of the first half, a reverse layup by Jordan Woodard, then a 3-pointer by Hield, tied the score at 46 at the break. Hoiberg said that’s when the game turned.
“We allowed them to come down and they get a two-for-one,” he said. “It just kind of snowballed from there. I didn’t think our urgency was the same coming out of the gate in the second half as it was in the first.”
Spangler scored two quick buckets to start the second half, and a dunk by Cousins increased Oklahoma’s lead to six and led to an Iowa State timeout.
The Cyclones rallied and tied it, but the Sooners responded with another run to take a 67-58 lead. After Iowa State scored, Oklahoma came back with an 11-2 run to put the game out of reach.
“We let them space us out a little bit and they were knocking down shots,” Long said. “We know they have great guards, and that’s something that coach emphasized. The coaches came up with a great game plan — it’s on us to execute it.”
Iowa State: McKay started for just the second time this season, in place of Dejean-Jones, who started 20 of the first 22 games. … Iowa State made 9 of 14 3-pointers in the first half and 14 of 29 overall.
Oklahoma: Thomas suffered an eye injury Saturday in the second half against TCU and left the game. He was limited in practice Sunday and started on Monday. … Oklahoma had 10 offensive rebounds and 12 second-chance points in the first half. … The Sooners attempted just six free throws, but they made all of them.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Cousins, on the officials letting the guards play physical ball without calling many fouls: “It was pretty fun. It was like I was back in New York City.”
Frank Booker, Oklahoma’s reserve guard, scored a season-high 14 points and made 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Iowa State: hosts West Virginia on Saturday.
Oklahoma: at Kansas State on Saturday.
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