The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 4, 2014

Sooners focused on bouncing back against Longhorns in Austin

NORMAN — The alarm bell had been going for sometime prior to Oklahoma’s loss to Louisiana Tech to close 2013. Winning cures a lot of ills, but consistently giving up wide open shots and 80-plus points is a toxic hazard.

If the Sooners didn’t fully understand it, they do now.

“Maybe we did have to lose one to learn that we actually have to play defense,” OU forward Ryan Spangler said. “We’re capable of playing good defense. We do it every day in the practice. We’ve just got to carry it over the game. I think we’ll do that.”

What the Sooners (11-2) ultimately do in March hinges on the ability to do so. The games are about to get a lot tougher, starting at 7 p.m. today when OU faces Texas (11-2) at the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

It’s the Big 12 Conference opener for both. One aspect of the game that typically changes in conference play is scoring points gets tougher and the teams that can win despite those dry spells shoot up the conference standing. Those that cannot plummet.

“We’ve recognize we need to guard better for quite some time,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “We’ve been the dodging the bullet and winning ball games … Going into Big 12 play you hope you learned your lessen and a loss serves a purpose.”

Despite the loss to Louisiana Tech, the Sooners have done enough to get in the NCAA tournament discussion. To stay in it, they have to stay in the top half of the conference standings.

A game like today’s is critical. The Sooners and Longhorns mirror each other in a lot of ways other than their records. Both had surprising success in the non-conference season. Texas has the better win after toppling North Carolina last month, but a tougher loss to BYU in November. They both share a common loss to Michigan State.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

Facebook