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March 26, 2013

Fans wonder how OU ever managed to win 20

(Continued)

Philadelphia —

Perhaps it could have been overcome if the Sooners  paired one scoring threat to go along with Romero Osby. The senior forward scored a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds Friday night.

Like many games this season, Osby was the best player on the floor. The Aztecs didn’t have an answer for him. OU, however, was unable to present anymore tough questions for San Diego State.

Osby was 9 for 15 in the game. The rest of the team was 14 for 43.

“You know, that’s the game. That’s the game that we love. We hate it sometimes, but we always love it, and sometimes things just don’t go your way. I think that’s pretty much what it was,” Osby said. “But like I said, as far as struggling, offensively that’s always something that’s going to happen in basketball seasons, but we could have done some other things better. We still could have gone to the offensive glass more, still could have defended them more and made it a tight grind-it-out game. But all credit to San Diego State, they guarded us well and we didn’t guard them as well.”

Oddly, the arc of the Sooners’ season started with their ability to defend at a level it hadn’t in several years. They went 9-3 in the non-conference schedule because of a knack for getting stops in the final minutes of games and then pulling them out. 

That defensive intensity coupled with a maturing offense had OU riding high well into February. Wins over Kansas and Iowa State in the second half illustrated how potent the Sooners could be. 

However, starting with the stunning 92-86 overtime loss at Texas on Feb. 27 — the game where the Sooners let a 22-point lead evaporate in the final seven minutes — they started to recede. 

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