However, the Sooners still trailed 19-18 because they couldn’t keep the Bobcats off the glass.
The Sooners took their second lead of the game when M’Baye grabbed an offensive rebound off the rim and threw down a rim-shaking dunk. He was called for a technical foul when he did a chin up on the rim. The Bobcats missed both technical free throws.
With the Sooners up 29-26, Ohio’s Ivo Baltic nailed a 3-pointer to tie the contest heading into halftime.
Oklahoma began to stretch its lead in the second half as it attacked Ohio’s interior defense with dribble penetration and fastbreak opportunities.
But it was Pledger who put the most pressure on Ohio. The 6-4, 219-pound senior helped give Oklahoma its first double-digit lead at the 10-minute mark of the second half with a nine-point outburst.
“We were just trying to move the ball and come off a couple of screens,” Pledger said. “Our big guys set beautiful screens and I just use them to our advantage.”
The Bobcats slowly pulled back to within four as Oklahoma’s energy level seemed to fall. But consecutive dunks by Cameron Clark quickly restored order. That included an alley-oop that brought the restless crowd to its feet. Pledger followed with a couple of 3-pointers and Oklahoma was back in front by 11 and never looked back..
“It makes you feel good to know that your team, everybody is coming into their own and becoming more confident,” Osby said. “I think it was a team effort.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org