Five things revealed: OU vs. TCU

OU forward Ryan Spangler

It wasn't pretty, but OU took care of business against TCU. The five things that stood out from the victory.

After every conference home game, Sooners Illustrated is going to take a look at the five things that were revealed in Oklahoma's basketball game. Up now is OU's 77-69 win against TCU.

No. 1: How to view the win

No question OU should be happy about the win, but the way it won left a lot to be desired. Expected to cruise, a combo of a slight emotional letdown and TCU playing its best game of the conference season led to a much tougher than expected battle. Lon Kruger was honest after the game in addressing the notion. When it was tied 66-66 with 3:33 left, you can't be whining about being in the predicament. He was happy with the way his team responded down the stretch to earn the victory.

No. 2: Spangler continues to do the little things

No coach has given Spangler as much praise as what TCU coach Trent Johnson did for OU forward Ryan Spangler and his performance Wednesday. Spangler was his typical gritty self, scoring 13 points and hauling in 16 rebounds. He had zero points and 11 rebounds at halftime and realized he needed to score in the second half. Johnson stressed how unselfish Spangler is and that certainly comes across in every game. He has a great feel for what the team needs at a given time.

No. 3: Winning without the long ball

It went down in the books as OU shooting 44 percent on its 3-point field goals against the Horned Frogs, but the Sooners had to find a way to win a game in the second half when the outside shot wasn't falling. OU was 6-of-8 at one point late in the first half. The Sooners finished 8 of 18, hitting a mere 2 of their last 10 attempts. The best sign of the night was when OU realized the outside shot wasn't falling, it didn't force a lot of long jumpers.

No. 4: Defense sparks offense

Last couple of games the OU offense has hit stretches of ineffectiveness, and it was that way again vs. TCU. The biggest thing to help OU was its defense. The Sooners had 13 steals and forced 16 turnovers in the game. Leading the charge in that department was forward Cameron Clark, who had five steals. Isaiah Cousins had three, while Spangler and Je'lon Hornbeak each had two steals. OU also forced a 10-second violation and was able to make key defensive stops down the stretch.

No. 5: The grind never stops

As evidenced with this game, no such thing as a gimme in Big 12 play right now. But they're college kids, and it's only human to suffer a bit of a letdown. OU's first five conference games were an incredibly tough way to start, going 3-2 was a lot better than most expected. A win is a win and 4-2 in conference play is nice. But OU needs to show up early against Texas Tech as once again the Sooners are going to be expected to win.

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