SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 10,000 fans crammed into Veterans Memorial Arena for Thursday night’s Oklahoma-North Dakota State game. Just about all of them missed the opening minutes of the game.
The tipoff time was pushed back 28 minutes because the Michigan State-Delaware game that proceeded it ran late.
The problem for fans was there were two sessions Thursday and the building had to be cleared following the Michigan State-Delaware game.
The Sooners and Bison were going through starting lineup introductions before the doors opened to ticket holders for the second session.
Halfway through the first half, the arena was full. But the opening was played in front of less than 1,000 fans.
Too many 3s, not enough free throws: The Sooners only attempted 18 free throws Thursday. Over their final two games of the season, they went to the free-throw line 25 times. Their opponents attempted 57. The Sooners attempted 65 3-pointers over those games.
“Most games we hit 3s, and we won doing that this year. I don’t know why we would change it now,” OU forward Ryan Spangler said. “If we’re not hitting, we need to realize we need to get to the rim, get some fouls, but we have been doing it all year, so why change now?”
Postseason skid reaches five games: Coach Lon Kruger completed his third season at OU on Thursday. During that time, the Sooners are now 0-5 combined in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.
“Obviously, disappointed that we haven’t won in conference tournament or here,” he said. “This group’s done a heck of a job. They have made a lot of progress, and we got to keep getting better, keep making progress as a program and as a group and they will do, they will do that.”
Why no foul? OU opted not to foul when North Dakota State needed a 3-pointer to tie the game late in regulation. Kruger said there was too much time on the clock. North Dakota State’s Lawrence Alexander made the game-tying 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left in regulation.