Sooners struggle with Auburn’s rebounding, diverse scoring.
The Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball team dropped their sixth game out of the last seven, falling at No. 1 Auburn, 86-68.
The Sooners were outmanned and out-skilled from the get-go, trailing 9-3 less than four minutes into the game, and 12 at halftime, 39-27. There were a few bright spots including an Umoja Gibson layup with just over 12 minutes to go that cut the lead to three, 50-47. OU couldn’t capitalize as the Tigers hit two free throws, stole an inbounds pass and converted a three-point-play from Devon Cambridge to push the lead back out to eight points and it never got within one possession again.
Only three Sooners scorers got to double-digits, as Jordan Goldwire led the way with 19 points. Gibson adding 14, while Tanner Groves netted 13 on just 3-8 shooting from the field.
The Tigers got their main scoring production from projected Top-3 NBA Draft pick Jabari Smith with 23 points and 12 rebounds. 7’1 center Walker Kessler added in 21 points and 9 rebounds, leading to Auburn owning the glass, outrebounding the Sooners 41-29.
This game isn’t exactly a fair one to judge a team like Oklahoma in their first year with a new head coach, but the turnovers were still an issue with the Sooners giving away 14; the Tigers scored 16 off of those OU turnovers. Auburn also just too strong inside, scoring 38 points in the paint compared to the Sooners’ 24.
The hope now is that Oklahoma has weathered the storm and uses the lessons learned from this brutal stretch to put together a strong week with two unranked Big 12 opponents on deck next.
Not much time to dwell on this loss as the Sooners are back in action on Big Monday hosting the TCU Horned Frogs. Tip is schedule for 8 p.m. on ESPN 2.