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Sooners Cage The Bearcats on Senior Night

The Oklahoma basketball team defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats in overtime on Tuesday, 74-71. Let’s talk about it.

It was senior night at the Lloyd Noble Center, and OU honored four of their players. Seniors Le’Tre Darthard, Sam Godwin, Rivaldo Soares, and Maks Klanjscek were celebrated.

Another big story that emerged from this game, was Javian McCollum being out with a shoulder injury. Darthard was slotted into the starting lineup.

To start the game, Cincinnati came out firing. The Bearcats kicked things off on a 20-10 run. The OU defense was struggling early on. The Sooners were able to cut the lead heading into halftime to 28-27. Rivaldo Soares got stripped, after hitting a side-step three-pointer to give OU the lead, right before the half which led to a Cincinnati layup.

Head Coach Porter Moser with the OU Seniors.

In the second half, both teams were trading baskets. Much more offense was on display compared to the first half, with OU scoring 40 second-half points, and Cincinnati scoring 39. A big contribution to the scoring total was the free throws for the Sooners. They shot 34 as a team, compared to the Bearcats 11 free throw attempts.

Le’Tre Darthard played very well with the extra minutes that Porter Moser gave him on his senior night. He ended up playing 41 minutes. He led the team with 18 points, and was able to draw a lot of fouls on the Bearcats. He shot 12/14 from the free-throw line. He also had three rebounds, and one steal. Darthard hit a corner three to put the Sooners up one point with 17.4 seconds on the clock.

Le’Tre Darthard during the game against Cincinnati.

After the Darthard three-pointer, Sam Godwin fouled Aziz Bandaogo by the rim to send the Bearcats to the line. Bandaogo went 1/2 from the line to send the game to overtime.

With 13.3 left in overtime, Darthard made two clutch free throws to extend the OU lead to three. Simas Lukosius had a good look at a three coming off of a screen, but it hit off the front rim.

Rivaldo Soares continued to be a productive player for Porter Moser against Cincinnati. He scored 16 points, and grabbed nine rebounds. He also played solid defense all night. Soares has been one of the most consistent players for the Sooners since conference play started. He and Moser shared a moment of appreciation for each other after the game.

Jalon Moore also scored 16 for OU, on 5-14 from the field. He also had seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal. He has been a guy that Moser can turn to when he needs a rebound or to guard a big man down low, but also adds an element to the offense with lobs and certain plays that showcase his athleticism.

Milos Uzan continued his offensive struggles against the Bearcats. He shot 1-10 from the field and had two points on the night. He had two rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

OU struggled to guard Jizzle James, off of the Cincinnati bench who had 16 points on 50% shooting from the field. He led the way in scoring for the Bearcats.

Turnovers were also a problem for the Sooners against the Bearcats. They had 15 on the night. Soares and Uzan were responsible for eight of the 15.

The Sooners did their job reaching the coveted 20-win mark. That can mean a lot when the NCAA committee decides who makes the tournament or not.

Next up for the Sooners is a matchup with the Texas Longhorns in Austin. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Images courtesy of Jenna Burress/OU Daily, Bob Nguyen/OU Daily

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