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Blown Away: Spangler, Sooners Hand Cyclones First Loss Of The Season

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Before the season, Oklahoma sophomore Ryan Spangler described sitting out last season after transferring from Gonzaga as "long," "dreadful," but in the end, "worth it." Saturday's performance against No. 9 Iowa State showed everyone his time off has paid huge dividends for his new team.

Spangler's monster double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds keyed Oklahoma to an 87-82 win over the Cyclones, Iowa State's first loss of the season.

After letting a marquee win slip away Wednesday night against Kansas, the Sooners didn't let another opportunity for a big home win get away, despite allowing Iowa State to shoot 52.3 percent and score 52 points in the paint.

The difference was Spangler's performance—particularly in the second half, when Spangler had 12 points and 10 rebounds alone—as well as the Sooners' 3-point shooting and the Cyclones' lack thereof.

A year ago, Iowa State hit 29 3-pointers in three games against the Sooners. On Saturday, Iowa State managed to shoot just 6-of-26 from 3-point range, even though few of the attempts were poor shots.

Meanwhile, the Sooners couldn't miss from deep, especially sophomore Buddy Hield, who finished the game with a team-high 22 points and hit 6-of-12 from 3-point range.

Isaiah Cousins continued his impressive play this season, finishing with 17 points and hitting 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Cameron Clark added 12 points, but scored just two points after halftime and struggled all afternoon, finishing just 4-of-16 from the field with five turnovers.

The Sooners looked a bit improved on the defensive end, but the Cyclones consistently got to the rim against the Sooners for easy buckets. DeAndre Kane led the Cyclones with 23 points, but injured his left ankle late in the game and had to be carried off the court. Melvin Ejim scored 21 points, including a 3-pointer that gave Iowa State a brief 77-76 lead with 2:38 remaining.

It was the last field goal the Cyclones would hit until the game was already decided.

Geroges Niang had 14 points while Dustin Hogue had 13.

The Sooners were able to overcome the Cyclones terrific shooting performance with not just 3-point shooting, but also through offensive rebounds. Oklahoma gathered in 13 offensive rebounds—seven of those from Spangler, six in the second half—and turned those into a 22-2 advantage in second chance points.

Following Ejim's 3-pointer, Spangler scored a quick basket inside and was fouled by Hogue. After converting the free throw, the Sooners lead, 79-77. Spangler was particularly impressive at the free throw line, hitting 8-of-9 attempts despite entering the game shooting just 57 percent for the season.

Ejim missed a desperation 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock on the Cyclones' next possession, and Hield's layup with 1:11 remaining pushed the OU lead to four. OU held the Cyclones scoreless and made six straight free throws to push the lead to 10 before ISU hit a few late buckets for the final margin.

Oklahoma controlled most of the game, trailing just three times and all of those very briefly. The Sooners led, 39-31 with 2:36 remaining in the first half, but ISU closed the half on an 8-0 run to tie the score at the break.

After halftime, it was Hield and Cousins who combined for five 3-pointers to push the Oklahoma lead to 59-46, forcing an Iowa State timeout. The Cyclones didn't go away, chipping away at the OU lead the rest of the half, but the Sooners always had an answer, no matter how close ISU got.

There's no rest for the weary, as the Sooners travel to Manhattan, Kan. to take on No. 25 Kansas State on Tuesday night. It's another golden opportunity for the Sooners to get an impressive road win in the nation's toughest conference.

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