NORMAN — There was no exact moment when Oklahoma officially stopped thinking about the win that got away three days ago and focused on the one it had to get Saturday.
It could have been when the Sooners returned to the practice gym Thursday, or after an intense practice Friday. They might have even waited until Saturday.
The when was superseded by the how after Saturday’s 86-69 rout of Iowa State at Lloyd Noble Center.
“Everyone’s attitude was good and everyone was focused even though we were still feeling the after-effects of the Texas loss. We still moved on and we were ready to play today,” OU forward Romero Osby said.
The Sooners (19-9, 10-6 Big 12) put forth a dominant performance in a game that had major postseason implications. The win put OU in the driver’s seat for a finish of no worse than fourth in the Big 12 standings.
OU coach Lon Kruger never doubted the Sooners would bounce back. His faith in Osby and the rest of his seniors has been validated throughout the season.
“They’ve done a good job all year of focusing on the next game. That’s a tribute to the leadership of Ro and the other guys. I thought Friday’s practice was really sharp, really crisp,” Kruger said. “Players get over it more quickly than fans and coaches do.”
The Sooners played with no hesitation and alleviated any stress Wednesday’s loss at Texas might have put on OU’s NCAA Tournament hopes. The Cyclones (19-10, 9-7 ) were the team dealing with those Saturday evening.
OU also avenged one of its most disappointing performances of the season in the process.
Four weeks ago, the Cyclones whipped the Sooners by 19 in Ames, Iowa. The Sooners were never really in that game. Iowa State found out what that felt like Saturday.