The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 16, 2013

Pokes’ success and Buddy-less Sooners ups Bedlam intrigue

NORMAN — So much has changed since Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last met that it’s hard to keep up without a scorecard.

For the Sooners, they’ve managed to keep themselves in the Big 12 Conference race by winning five of nine since that 77-68 victory over the Cowboys on Jan. 12 at Lloyd Noble Center.

No. 17 OSU (18-5, 8-3 Big 12), well, it has won seven of its last eight since Bedlam’s first act of 2013. The team that seemed to be teetering in mid January is now towering atop the Big 12 along with Kansas and Kansas State.

“They’ve won a lot of games and are playing very well,” OU coach Lon Kruger said.

The courses both teams have been on have made today’s 12:30 p.m. meeting at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater the mostly highly anticipated Bedlam game in several years.

OU (16-7, 7-4) hasn’t faced a ranked OSU team since 2007. The Cowboys haven’t faced an OU squad in the thick of the conference race since 2009.

In this case, change is very good for Bedlam. The modifications the Sooners have had to make since the first meeting, however, are the kind that are hard to predict.

Today will be OU’s first game without freshman guard Buddy Hield. He suffered a broken bone in his right foot in Monday’s win over TCU.

Hield’s injury is the first serious hit of bad luck the Sooners have faced all season. The urge they have to fight is altering who they are because of Hield’s absence.

There’s no arguing that some things have to change. Hield had an immense impact on the Sooners’ victory over the Cowboys. He scored 15 points and had five assists in the game.

Je’lon Hornbeak will get the start in his place. He wasn’t an afterthought in the first Bedlam meeting either. Hornbeak was 3 for 3 from the field and finished with eight points in a game he started.

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