OU basketball: Three things we learned from Sooners' Bedlam loss to Oklahoma State
STILLWATER — OU accounted for Cade Cunningham.
But then Kalib Boone made them pay.
Boone had 17 points as the Tulsa product helped No. 17 Oklahoma State to a 79-75 win over No. 16 OU on Monday at Gallagher-Iba Area.
In Saturday’s first meeting between the two, Cunningham and the Sooners’ Austin Reaves were front-and-center.
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Monday, it was a pair of in-state players — Boone, from Tulsa, and Harrah’s Brady Manek for the Sooners — coming up big.
But Manek’s big first-half wasn’t enough, Boone and Cunningham came up with late points and the Cowboys handed the Sooners (14-8, 9-7 Big 12) their third consecutive loss.
For the second consecutive game, Reaves lamented his late-game play after he turned the ball over with less than 45 seconds left, was called for a foul and the Cowboys extended the lead to three at the free-throw line.
"Honestly, I just made a horrible, horrible play," Reaves said. " There wasn't an option. It wasn't a play. I just had the ball in my hands and made a horrible play. That's really about it. I'll take full blame for it. It happened. It was really bad."
Reaves finished with 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting, going just 2 of 8 from inside the arc.
Here are three quick takeaways from the loss:
Rebounding success fades
OU held its town on the glass in the first half, outrebounding the Cowboys 18-14 despite going with a smaller lineup to start the game.
But in the second half, Oklahoma State dominated the glass once again, outrebounding the Sooners’ 21-11 after the break to win the rebounding battle 36-29.
The Cowboys set the tone from the start after halftime, grabbing the first six rebounds of the second half — all but one on the defensive end.
"We got off to a slow start rebounding the basketball and then I thought our guards got down in there and I thought really did a good job rebounding the ball in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
"You've just got to do it every possession."
OU did outscore the Cowboys on second-chance points, 10-6, as Oklahoma State had just six of their rebounds on the offensive end.
The Sooners struggled from the floor to start the second half once again, starting 1 of 7 from the field over the first four minutes.
Then OU went 12 of its next 17 shots before missing nine of its last 11.
Oklahoma State outrebounded the Sooners 45-28 — with 13 offensive boards and 18 second-chance points — in Saturday’s 94-90 win in Norman.
Brady Manek had nine rebounds but no other OU big men had any rebounds as the other 20 boards came from the Sooners’ guards.
Manek had a rough first Bedlam meeting until the end.
Manek missed his first three shots in the Cowboys’ 94-90 overtime win Saturday in Norman.
But Manek finished with some offensive momentum, hitting his last three shots in that game, twice tying it in the final two minutes of regulation and then giving the Sooners the lead with a 3-pointer in overtime.
Manek was a focal point from the start Monday, hitting a 3-pointer less than two minutes in. By the time the game was four minutes old, Manek had eight points.
He had 16 points by halftime, going 5 of 9 from the floor with four 3-pointers.
Manek hadn’t hit more than three 3-pointers in any game this season since the season opener and hadn’t topped that mark in a Big 12 game since hitting seven in the Bedlam meeting in Norman last season.
Manek finished with 20 points, his best scoring total since the season opener. He missed all three of his 3-pointers after the break.
"He was ready to do that," Kruger said. "Great to see him have a game like that. He fought his tail off on the boards as well, made some shots."
Kruger said he was hopeful Manek could keep his offensive momentum going heading into Thursday's regular-season finale against Texas (8 p.m.) at Lloyd Noble Center.
Harkless — and company — slow down Cunningham (mostly)
After Elijah Harkless came off the bench in Saturday’s game, before spending most of the game defending Cunningham, the Cowboys’ superstar, Harkless was back in the starting lineup for the rematch.
Harkless helped keep Cunningham without a field goal for the first 32-plus minutes.
But it wasn't a one-man effort.
Kruger used Harkless and Jalen Hill on Cunningham with help from Manek — and everyone else.
"Our guys did a great job," Kruger said. "He's a good player. In the end, he stepped up and he made plays that you expect good players to make."
Cunningham had just four field goal tries — all misses — before sparking a quick 9-0 Cowboys run with layups on back-to-back possessions starting with just more than seven minutes to go.
After a Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe steal on the next possession, Cunningham raced down the floor. This time, instead of driving all the way to the bucket, though, he flipped it to Moncrieffe, who immediately found Bryce Williams for a 3-pointer to put the Cowboys ahead.
Cunningham finished with 15 points on 3-of-8 shooting, with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.