PHILADELPHIA — Oklahoma’s trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years turned out to be brief. The 10th-seeded Sooners fell, 70-55 to seventh-seeded San Diego State on Friday night in the South Region’s second round at Wells Fargo Arena.
The same issues that caused OU (20-12) to slump at the end of the regular season and the Big 12 tournament rode along with it to Philadelphia.
OU’s guards couldn’t make a jump shot for the third straight game. It was 5 for 21 from 3-point range. Two of the makes were by forward Romero Osby. The rest of the team was 3 for 18.
“It’s just one of those things that it didn’t go our way. I mean, my teammates we’re always in the gym getting up extra shots, so it wasn’t a case of work ethic. But that’s basketball,” Osby said.
Osby was the dominant force the Sooners needed him to be. He scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. But there was no second option.
Foul trouble plagued the Sooners throughout the game. Guards Steven Pledger, Je’lon Hornbeak and Buddy Hield all picked up two in the first half.
Pledger’s second foul came midway through the second half and less than 30 seconds after finally connecting on a 3-point attempt.
“We’re much better when Steve is making shots. Take a look at our stretches where we’ve played well and shot it well as a group. Certainly Steve is a very good shooter, so we need him making shots,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “But foul trouble kind of got him on the bench early tonight, then he played a little bit with two in the first half, then came back and got a couple in the second half. But yeah, we need him making shots for sure.”