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Spangler, Woodard Propel Sooners Past OSU

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

This high-profile Bedlam matchup was supposed to set up as a guard-oriented, fast-paced tilt between a pair of ranked rivals thought to be weak in the post.

Apparently Ryan Spangler didn't take kindly to that scouting report.

The Gonzaga transfer and Tuttle native completely controlled the first Bedlam contest of the season and powered – in a literal sense – No. 23 Oklahoma to a convincing 88-76 upset victory against eight-ranked Oklahoma State in Norman on Monday night.

OSU jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead but, following a Jordan Woodard free throw, Spangler would score seven-straight point for the Sooners and they would never trail again en route to their 10th-straight home win in the series.

Spangler picked up a quick second-foul and sat the final 9:42 of the first half after putting up a quick nine points and five rebounds, but that extended time on the bench did nothing to derail his dominant performance.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore was even better in the second half, specifically with his rebounding, providing OU second-chance opportunity after second-chance opportunity to amass a 17-point second half lead that a late Cowboy rally never truly threatened to overcome. Spangler ended up with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to fuel the Sooners in a game where they controlled the tempo and the physicality throughout.

But Spangler wasn't the only native Oklahoman to do some damage for the Sooners.

Woodard, a freshman out of Edmond Memorial, had one of his best games in an OU uniform with 18 points, highlighted by three huge momentum-setting 3's in the second half. And PC West product Tyler Neal came up with numerous big shots of his own en route to 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 3-for-3 from deep.

The game really got out of hand when OU (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) held the Cowboys to just two field goals in the first six and a half minutes of the second half and connected on three 3's to establish a 17-point lead but the Pokes refused to go down without a fight.

Despite playing just six minutes in the first half with foul trouble, Marcus Smart turned on the jets for OSU (16-4, 4-3) by scoring seven points in a 12-3 rally to pull within seven with just under 10 minutes remaining.

However, despite a determined effort from Smart and a lights-out shooting performance from Phil Forte, the Cowboys could never get over the hump and were hounded by foul issues (ex: seldom-used Christien Sager played more minutes than Le'Bryan Nash or Stevie Clark).

The Cowboys were called for 29 fouls against 18 for the Sooners and OU held a 42-to-22 edge in free-throw attempts. OU outscored the Pokes by 15 points at the foul line in a 12-point victory.

The foul issues coupled with a sub-par 40 percent shooting night and failure to adapt to OU's quick pace proved too much to overcome.

Smart led OSU with 22 points – 18 of which came in the second half – and had four rebounds and three assists. He hit his first two shots of the game, both 3's, but struggled from that point on to finish 6-of-18 from the field and 3-of-11 from 3.

Forte shook off whatever funk he was in against West Virginia by lighting up the Lloyd Noble Center on 6-of-6 shooting from 3-point range with at least three of them seemingly coming from the parking lot to finish with 20 points.

Markel Brown played a game-high 39 minutes and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. A game after setting a career-high with 29 points, Nash fouled out after just 17 minutes with eight points and three rebounds.

Outside of big performances from Spangler, Woodard and Neal, the Sooners also received 11 points from Buddy Hield and seven each from Cameron Clark and Isaiah Cousins.

The win was the Sooners' fourth-straight overall while the Cowboys have now dropped two of their past three.

Monday night was the first time both teams have entered Bedlam ranked since 2005. The rematch is Feb. 15 at Stillwater.

Next up for OSU is a home tilt with Baylor in Stillwater on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Oklahoma will hit the road to face Iowa State in Ames on Saturday at 3 p.m.

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