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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Missed Opportunity: Sooners Fall To Iowa State On The Road

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AMES, Iowa -

Coming off a Bedlam win over Oklahoma State Monday night, No. 23 Oklahoma was looking to build momentum and pick up a big win at Hilton Coliseum against Iowa State.

Georges Niang wasn't going to allow the Cyclones to be swept by the Sooners this year, as he poured in 27 points, including a back-breaking 3-pointer with 55.5 seconds remaining to lead No. 16 Iowa State to an 81-75 win over the Sooners.

OU's Cameron Clark gambled and tried to steal a pass, but missed, and the defensive rotation left Niang wide-open at the top of the 3-point line, and he drained the shot to give the Cyclones a 76-70 lead.

Niang was aided by a monster double-double from teammate Melvin Ejim, who scored 22 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Despite Ejim's terrific performance on the glass, the Sooners still dominated the boards, holding a 46-33 advantage at the end of the game, including a 14-6 lead on the offensive glass.

The loss spoiled a career-high performance from Buddy Hield, who scored 30 points on 10-18 shooting, including a 5-for-8 performance from 3-point range. Fellow sophomore Isaiah Cousins recorded his first double-double of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Woodard had 10 points and Ryan Spangler had eight points and 12 rebounds.

The Sooners had an opportunity to hold on to second place in the Big 12, but the loss—combined with Texas' upset of Kansas—dropped the Sooners to 6-3 in the conference, one game behind the Longhorns in the loss column for second place.

Hield was on fire throughout the entire game, scoring 18 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers that helped keep the Sooners afloat while the Cyclones tried to put the Sooners away early. Hield was the only source of consistent offense in the first 20 minutes for OU, as the rest of the team shot just 9-of-26 from the field and 1-of-8 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma managed to go into the locker room tied at 37 thanks to a wild, deep two-point shot from Spangler that he basically batted toward the rim as the buzzer sounded. Officials reviewed the play for some time afterward, trying to determine if it was a two or a 3-pointer.

The second half began as a back-and-forth affair, but the Sooners suddenly went cold from the field, hitting just two field goals in over seven minutes while the Cyclones went on a 14-4 run to take a 62-52 with 8:44 remaining on a Matt Thomas 3-pointer.

As has been the theme of Lon Kruger's squad all season, the Sooners fought back, drawing within a single point at 69-68 with 2:48 remaining. Hield then stripped Ejim and the Sooners had a chance to take the lead. However, Hield forced up an awkward shot and missed, and the Cyclones would hit two free throws on the other end.

The Sooners wouldn't get any closer.

Oklahoma will travel to West Virginia on Wednesday night to take on the Mountaineers at 6 p.m. CST. The Mountaineers are coming off an upset of Kansas State at home.

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