Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 10, 2013

BIG 12 MEN'S BB: Sooners stunned after first-half lull

FORT WORTH — Oklahoma took a 25-minute nap at TCU on Saturday and wound up missing its chance to enter the Big 12 tournament with momentum.

Instead, it will go to Kansas City, Mo., next week staggered after Saturday’s stunning 70-67 loss to TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The loss dropped OU to 20-10 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12 Conference. The conference record is still good enough to get OU the No. 4 seed and it will meet No. 5 seed Iowa State on Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

OU’s NCAA Tournament hopes are still solid, but its ambition for getting anything better than a double-digit seed took a huge hit.

“This certainly is going to hurt our seed if nothing else, perhaps,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “There’s a lot of basketball left to be played, or at least the opportunity. We’ll try to make the most of that.”

The Horned Frogs (11-20, 2-16) were No. 239 in the Ratings Percentage Index at the start of the day. OU was No. 28.

That will change after the Sooners shot just 36.4 percent (24 for 66) from the field and went 0 for 16 from 3-point range. The last miss was Sam Grooms’ open attempt from the corner that would’ve sent the game to overtime if it had fallen. But it was a jump shot and the Sooners couldn’t make one of those to save their lives. They only scored four of their points outside of the paint and the free-throw line.

Romero Osby led the Sooners with 19 points and Andrew Fitzgerald added 13. Buddy Hield added 10. They, along with Je’lon Hornbeak and Grooms, were OU’s only sources of offense. They were able to drive to the basket or get to the free-throw line.

Then again, what created the massive deficit was a lethargic defensive effort in the first half. The Horned Frogs, who had lost eight straight prior to Saturday, torched OU from the opening tip.

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