Bedlam basketball: 3 takeaways from Oklahoma State's 79-75 win over OU for series sweep
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State guard Chris Harris Jr. brought out the broom and a celebration at midcourt soon followed.
The broom was passed around and Eddie Sutton Court received a few sweeps. Then, the Cowboys raised the Bedlam trophy as a group.
“Just having fun,” OSU senior Bryce Williams said. “No disrespect.”
OSU coach Mike Boynton followed by leading an “O-S-U” chant with the crowd and then addressing the crowd.
- Related to this story
- Article: Tramel: Oklahoma State sweeps Bedlam basketball, with best player Cade Cunningham & then the better team
- Article: 'I still dislike school a lot': Why Bryce Williams could return to Oklahoma State basketball in 2021-22
- Article: OU basketball: Reeling Sooners 'have to bounce back' after Bedlam sweep
- Video: OSU Basketball: Bedlam sweep
“How ‘bout them Cowboys!” he said to open his speech before acknowledging three players honored on Senior Night — Williams, Ferron Flavors Jr. and freshman superstar Cade Cunningham.
The Cowboys earned the right for some fun. A Bedlam sweep in three days on national television is reason to celebrate.
No. 17-ranked OSU rallied to knock off No. 16-ranked OU 79-75 late Monday night inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“I remember last year when we beat them here and I subbed out, Coach Mike hugged me and was like we’re not going to lose to them again,” OSU sophomore Kalib Boone said. “So sweeping them this year just gives me more motivation when we see them the next time we play them.”
The Cowboys have won five straight games and are fourth in the Big 12 with a 10-6 record, the highest win total during Boynton’s tenure. OSU is also tied for first in the nation with eight N.E.T. Quadrant 1 wins alongside Illinois and Michigan.
And with games coming up at No. 3-ranked Baylor and at No. 6-ranked West Virginia to close out the regular season, OSU is in a big spot to make even more of a statement.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Boone twins adjust
Two days ago, Boynton said the Cowboys needed to establish Kalib Boone more in the rematch.
Seventeen points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes is quite an adjustment for the Tulsa Memorial product who notably did not receive a scholarship offer from the Sooners.
“For me, it’s really not scoring,” Boone said. “In the Norman game, I didn’t really run the floor hard, I didn’t really set good screens and today I felt like I ran better. My screens could have been a little better.
“But it was just honestly doing the little things in my mind, just being aggressive and energetic from the start.”
And mix in twin brother, Keylan, and the Cowboys got quite a night from the Boones.
Keylan played 23 minutes, scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds. He played strong defense in the center of OSU’s zone.
“You can’t discount his brother,” Boynton said. “I think his minutes were really, really huge for us. He gave us a big spark.
“But Kalib was certainly the guy we were able to play through and he was aggressive on both ends of the court.”
Kalib was tasked with facing OU’s Brady Manek, who scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Kalib even played through four fouls late in the game. He still blocked an Elijah Harkless jumper and later made one of two free shots with 57.7 seconds remaining for a 75-72 lead.
It wasn’t exactly Cade Cunningham vs. Elijah Harkless again.
It was Cade vs. every Sooner.
Lon Kruger’s biggest adjustment from Saturday’s 40-point outburst was sending the house at Cunningham nearly every time he touched the ball near scoring range.
Double teams at 3-point range. If Cunningham got in the paint, he saw nothing but black OU jerseys.
That led to just two points on free shots in the opening half for Cunningham. He missed both shots with Harkless hounding him. He also had three turnovers.
“I thought he pressed a little bit early,” Boynton said. “It’s Senior Day for a 19-year-old freshman. Obviously, gotta be weird. A lot of family here. Coming off the game, they came out really, really aggressively. They were a little bit more aggressive with their ball-screen coverages with him.
“And it took a little while to figure out where to take advantage of that, but I thought in the second half he did a much better job.”
Cunningham didn’t make his first field goal until 7:20 remained in the game, a short jumper after Harkless fell. Cunningham then made a running floater on the next possession.
In the second half, Cunningham started attacking late, forcing his way to the basket or free-throw line. Cunningham scored 13 of his 15 points in the half. He also hit four free shots in the final 17.5 seconds to ice the game.
Where there’s a Will …
On Saturday, Bryce Williams scored eight straight points to help the Cowboys erase a nine-point deficit in the second half.
On Monday, he did it again in the first half. OSU had gone 6-plus minutes without a field goal and it needed a spark. Williams provided it.
“What triggers it is when one shot goes in,” Williams said. “I feel like the rest are about to go in.”
Williams finished with 14 points, three assists and two rebounds.
But that might not have been the biggest thing he did all day. His defense on Austin Reaves was vital.
He frustrated the Sooners’ leading scorer.
“I thought Bryce was sensational on both ends of the court today,” Boynton said.
Reaves started 1 of 6 before getting going late after Williams picked up his third foul. But not before Reaves missed a wide-open tomahawk dunk that was later played on loop on the videoboard.
Reaves was also charged with a flop warning.
Williams’ defense forced Reaves into tough decisions, which sometimes slowed down the Sooners.
Reaves ultimately finished with 19 points on 5 of 14 shooting.