The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 6, 2014

Sooner men giving up points, picking up lessons

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Freshman point guard Jordan Woodard experienced just how big an impact he can have with three good minutes on the floor. With little less than four minutes left, he’d scored just two points and was having a game he’d like to forget. Then he dominated the final three and really was the difference in the game.

The Sooners will be in a lot of games like Saturdays. They have a lot of offensive weapons, but the inability to play lockdown defense for anything more than short stretches limits their ability to really distance themselves.

Wins and losses in the Big 12 are going to depend on execution in the final minutes. OU (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) will have to do it Wednesday when No. 16 Kansas (9-4, 0-0) visits Lloyd Noble Center.

The victory over Texas was just the first game of the conference season. OU celebrated afterwards because they earned it. Road wins are tough and Texas is a team OU will likely be neck-and-neck the next two and a half months with in the Big 12 standings and judged with and against for an NCAA tournament berth. The Sooners are now ahead.

But staying there means winning many more games in the final minutes.

“The league is really tough, so anytime you can win, let alone win on the road, you are going to feel good about it,” Kruger said. “We’ve got 17 more now, and we talk to our guys all the time about how significant and how tough every one of them is. We’ve got to prepare to play with great energy and great enthusiasm and great focus every night. Tonight was a good start.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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