The Sooners beat the Iowa Cyclones on the road on Saturday 86-72. Let’s talk about it.
Firstly, this is a solid Iowa State team. It is very tough to go into Ames and leave town with a win. This Sooners team did not blink. Before this game, Iowa State had a home record of 10-1. The Sooners are playing a great brand of basketball, and are getting hot at just the right point in the season. The win was OU’s first in Ames since 2017.
The first quarter of this game was back and forth until the very end when the Sooners went on a 10-3 run to close it out. Oklahoma never looked back after that run.
Payton Verhulst was an absolute star in this ball game. She started the game knocking down shots, and kept it rolling throughout the fourth quarter. She scored 25 points on 8/17 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds, six assists, and four steals. She was everywhere on the court, and getting it done on both ends of the floor. She scored 10 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter. If she can keep up this volume of scoring, this Sooners team is going to continue to make noise in not only the Big 12, but the entire country come March Madness time.
Nevaeh Tot also had a very good game for the Sooners. She reminded everyone that she is not just a floor general point guard, but can score the ball when she wants to. She had 10 points, and nine assists, with just one turnover, and three steals. A 9-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is one head coach Jennie Baranczyk will take any day of the week. She had a complete game and continues to be the glue that makes the Sooners offense run.
A familiar face for Iowa State ended up hurting them in this game, with Aubrey Joens, who transferred from ISU to OU, eliminating a possible run from the Cyclones. The lead was cut to eight points for OU before a Joens three-pointer pushed the lead back to 11 points. That shot sparked a 10-0 run for the Sooners.
The play of Skylar Vann continues to be important for OU. While it was not her best shooting night, her impact was still felt. She scored 12 points, extending her streak of double-digit scoring games to 16, and snagged four rebounds three of them being on the offensive glass, one assist, and two steals. She continues to be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
The overall team defense in this game for the Sooners played a big role in the outcome. OU held the Cyclones to just 38% from the field. After the first quarter, the defense for OU really picked up and was causing problems for Iowa State. The Sooners won the rebounding battle, 47-37. OU was more aggressive on the glass all night and was more physical getting to the ball. The defensive intensity was there all night for the Sooners.
The Sooners moved up one spot in the AP top 25 that was released on Monday, moving from No. 24 to No. 23.
Next, is a Valentine’s Day home matchup with the No. 21 ranked Baylor Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Oklahoma will look to extend its winning streak to nine games.
Images courtesy of Audrey Quan/OU Daily