The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 1, 2013

As Big 12 heats up, more Sooners get in on the scoring

NORMAN — After Oklahoma’s 74-71 victory at Baylor on Wednesday night, the celebration was subdued. It was a happy plane flight back to Norman from Waco, Texas, because it was the kind of victory the Sooners have rarely acquired the last four seasons.

However, it wasn’t like something out of the blue occurred.

“We came into this game expecting to win; it’s not like we were hoping to win it. We expected to win this one,” said forward Amath M’Baye after his 20-point performance. “I like it when the expectations are high like this. If we keep working like we’ve been doing, we should get good results.”

The stunner associated with the win, which lifted the Sooners to 14-5 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference, was that it came away from home on a night when leading scorer — Romero Osby — didn’t light up the Ferrell Center. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Most teams don’t win big games when their No. 1 scoring option struggles to get points.

With M’Baye and Steven Pledger both putting together 20-point performances and freshman guard Buddy Hield making a couple of incredibly clutch shots in the final four minutes, it meant Osby didn’t have to.

“Pledge had a great first half, which it really makes a difference when he’s making shots like that. Then Amath had a terrific night as well,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “This is a club. Ro has been the cornerstone, but at different times different guys have stepped up and contributed. Last night, we needed that.”

The Sooners will need more team-wide performances like that heading forward. They’re currently tied for second in the league with Baylor and No. 18 Kansas State. Staying in the spot underneath No. 2 Kansas in the standings will require a victory over the Wildcats (16-4, 5-2) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.

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