Oklahoma’s 5th seed men’s basketball team was upset 80-75 in overtime by 12th seed North Dakota State in the NCAA West Regional opener for both clubs Thursday night. With the shocking loss, the Sooners season ends with a record of 23-10.
OU was a slight favorite because of their ability to make outside shots and their experience playing in the rugged Big 12 Conference, where the Sooners finished 2nd during the regular season. But starting with the conference tournament in Kansas City last week, OU was never the same as they were before post-season play began.
The Sooners played poor defense in the opening half and North Dakota State, the nation’s leading FG shooting team by percentage, took full advantage. The Bison from Fargo, ND shot 63% in the first half while OU hit just 33% of their attempts and NDSU took a 37-29 lead into the locker room at intermission.
In the final half, OU senior Cameron Clark was a one-man show to get his team back in it. Clark scored 22 of his game high 25 points after halftime and the Sooners actually had a 65-61 lead with a minute to go in regulation. But OU committed a costly foul and the Sooners missed a couple of crucial free throws which could’ve sealed it. As a result, NDSU’s Lawrence Alexander hit a 3-point shot with :11 remaining and the teams went into overtime, tied at 66.
In the extra session, NDSU made the plays when they had to, especially Lawrence who despite averaging just 11 points a game coming in, finished with 28 to lead all scorers as the Bison advanced to Saturday’s 2nd round against San Diego State.
Besides Clark’s 25 points, Isaiah Cousins scored 17 points and Jordan Woodard added 13. The Sooners leading scorer, guard Buddy Hield, had a miserable shooting night hitting just 1-9 from behind the 3-point line, 4-14 overall for just 9 points. As a team, OU hit just 35% of their shots for the game, while NDSU finished making shots at a 53% clip.
After the disappointing loss, NewsChannel 4’s Dylan Buckingham sent back the following postgame report featuring comments from Sooners head coach Lon Kruger, senior guard Cam Clark and sophomore forward Ryan Spangler.