Forward Romero Osby poured in a game-high 19 points, and forward Cameron Clark, the Classic’s MVP, added another 17 points off the bench in perhaps his best game as a Sooner to do the trick.
“Cam’s activity, I thought, was fantastic,” said OU head coach Lon Kruger. “He’s had a really good week of practice and attacking, you know, knocking down jumpers there, getting to the rim a couple times. I thought he worked really hard defensively. The size difference on the defensive end, Cam’s strong enough and athletic enough to not get hurt by that size difference.
“He can use the quickness to his advantage, and I thought he did a terrific job and was a big key of course when stepping in there at the elbow and knocking down a couple jumpers.”
The 6-foot-6, 208-pound junior who has been inconsistent at times throughout his career, was anything but that on this day.
He canned 8-of-12 shots, while also pulling down four rebounds, and as Kruger mentioned, allowed OU to combat Texas A&M’s bigs in the paint.
“I feel pretty comfortable down there attacking the bigs, moving the ball to my teammates, getting open shots,” Clark said. “It was good…just moving my feet, you know, getting around them [was the key]. They’re bigger, so I gotta do a lot more work just getting into their legs and boxing out is the main thing.
Most of the rest of the team did their part as well, especially in wreaking havoc for the Aggies offensively.
Because of that, the Sooners forced 19 turnovers and turned those into 20 points.
“Pretty solid defensively,” Kruger said. “Again, I thought in the second half there was a stretch of several possessions where I thought was really good in that A&M didn’t get a lot of good looks, plus we had four or five turnovers that were converted the other way and I thought that was probably when the game was popped open a little bit.”
Texas A&M actually outshot OU 40 percent to 38.9 percent, but OU’s efficiency at the stripe, where it was 18-for-19, helped it overcome that and its 35-31 deficit in the rebounding column.
Osby’s perfect 9-for-9 was a big part of that.
“Don’t tell me that,” Osby joked. “I don’t need to hear my stats because then I’ll start missing. So, I just don’t think about it. I just get up there and shoot. I just get up there and shoot it, and it’s something I put a lot of time in and I told myself I wanted to be a better free throw shooter this year, so I’ve been just trying to do that.”
Along with Osby and Clark, guards Buddy Hield and Steven Pledger managed double figures with their 12 and 10, respectively.
For the Aggies, guard Elston Turner led the way with 17, while forward Ray Turner had 12.
The Sooners outscored the Aggies 33-13 on the bench, including those combined 29 points from Clark and Hield.
OU got up by as much as 14 with 4:35 remaining and had a one point lead at intermission when it was 28-27.
The Sooners (7-2) now prepare for their first home game in nearly three weeks when they host Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday inside Lloyd Noble Center.
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