The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 25, 2013

Hitting their stride

NORMAN — Oklahoma is a team used to battling for 40 minutes for victories. Just about all have come down to the plays made in the final minutes.

The exception has been the Sooners’ last two games. Last Wednesday’s 86-71 victory at Texas Tech and Saturday’s 90-76 romp over Baylor at Lloyd Noble Center showed OU is a team capable of burying opponents quickly.

The early onslaught was undoubtedly the overwhelming factor Saturday. The Sooners came out shooting well and defending even better. The 47-21 halftime lead was the Sooners’ largest of the season.

“This group has done such a good job of getting each other ready to play. We’ve talked about that for several games in a row. They’ve opened games with good energy, good focus,” OU coach Lon Kruger said.

The energy is something that defines the way teams play at the end of the regular season. It has been long stretch of two games a week since early January. Many teams are worn down by the process.

The Sooners know what that feels like. From 2010-2012, they went 3-21 in February games. Saturday’s victory lifted the current Sooners to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in the Big 12 Conference. They’re 4-3 this month, having won four of the last five.

The main reason is the offensive improvement. The Sooners have averaged 80.4 points per game in the last five games.

Guards Steven Pledger and Sam Grooms and senior forward Romero Osby have shot a combined 76-for-142 during the span. Only Pledger, who was 7-for-9 en route to 19 points against the Bears, has shot under 50 percent during the run — and he’s made 30 of his last 61 shots.

“I was getting to my spots and hitting shots,” Pledger said Saturday. “I was getting my shoulders squared up to the basket and hitting them.”

Grooms is 16-for-30 while Osby is 30-for-51. They’ve helped the Sooners shoot 47.5 percent or better the last five games. No big team has been hotter during the period.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NCAA Womens Gymnastics Sooners vault to program’s first women’s gymnastics national championship

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It’s probably not the way Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler drew it up. Probably, in her mind’s eye, when she saw the program she’s taken to the NCAA championships so many different times finally claim national supremacy, she ...

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners demolish Longhorns in series finale

    Disappointed. Confused. Shocked. Embarrassed....

    April 20, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald believes he’s got the right game on the right course — and is ready to make up for so many near-misses at the RBC Heritage. Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Nets’ experience trumps Raptors in Game 1

    TORONTO — The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors....

    April 20, 2014

  • Heat open quest for another title

    MIAMI — If the Miami Heat are going to watch their season and reign atop the NBA end at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats, then fates of the franchises will have to change in a hurry....

    April 20, 2014

  • Warriors beat Clippers, 109-105, in playoff opener

    LOS ANGELES — Klay Thompson scored 22 points, David Lee added 20 and the Golden State Warriors got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Saturday in their playoff opener....

    April 20, 2014

  • Cardinals edge Nationals, 4-3

    WASHINGTON — Lance Lynn was sharper than he had had been all season, which made it all the more frustrating for him when he failed to make it out of the sixth inning....

    April 20, 2014

  • OU gets rare hot start, but fails to finish in loss to WVU

    A slow start wasn’t Oklahoma’s problem on Saturday. Perhaps that issue has been rectified. What was evident after its 9-5 loss to West Virginia is it has more problems than solutions....

    April 20, 2014

  • Teague leads Hawks past top-seeded Pacers in Game 1

    INDIANAPOLIS — Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan. As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly. The Pacers didn’t have an answer....

    April 20, 2014

Facebook