Oklahoma’s season ended with a thud on Wednesday night.
The Sooners suffered a 62-53 loss to Texas A&M in the first round of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., after defeating the same Aggies squad just five days earlier. It is the third-straight losing season for OU, who finished 15-16 overall and 5-13 in Big 12 regular season play.
OU’s leading scorer Steven Pledger was held to six points, his lowest point total since Feb. 18 and just the third time he didn’t score in double figures since Jan. 9. He finished 2-of-8 from the field including 0-of-4 from the three point line but did have three assists.
Player of the Game: Romero Osby. The junior scored 17 points on just six shots. He was 9 of 12 from the free throw line, so he was involved in the offensive attack and he did a good job handling the Aggies increased defensive attention on him after his career-high 24-point outburst against A&M on March 3.
Unsung Hero: Sam Grooms. The junior point guard was the only other Sooner in double figures with 13 points. He was 5 of 12 from the field with four assists and four turnovers, an unusual 1:1 assist-turnover ratio for the junior. Grooms sensed his team needed additional scoring, with Cameron Clark and Steven Pledger shooting 4-of-15 combined, so he attacked the basket and managed to keep the Sooners in the game despite their offense sputtering.
Key Stat: 13. The Aggies had 13 offensive rebounds leading to 15 second-chance points. Their offensive rebounding and 88.2 percent shooting from the foul line helped offset their 38.2 percent shooting from the field.
Quotable: “We tied the game up, fought back. Missed two shots and had two turnovers and they converted on both of those possessions and they went back up four. When you miss easy ones around the rim and you turn the ball over, you give Big 12 teams the opportunity to go back the other way and to make plays, they're going to do it.” -- Grooms on the Sooners struggles down the stretch.
“When you don't win a lot of games, as many as you want to, consistency is probably going to be a problem. Whether it be maybe turnovers one night or offensive boards, generally it's a stretch in the ballgame we had difficulty in overcoming.” --Kruger on his team’s struggles to win.
“Generally I thought they played with a certain level of enthusiasm, consistently worked hard every day in practice to get better. I liked that about this group from the start.” -- Kruger on his first season in Norman.
Up Next: The Sooners are goin’ fishin’ ... OU is unlikely to receive an NIT bid and accepting a CBI invitation doesn’t make sense for the Sooners.