College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 27, 2014
Tenacious defense, a patient offense and the interior domination of Ryan Spangler helped the #23 Oklahoma Sooners overwhelm the #8 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the twice-annual renewal of their "bedlam" series, 88-76.
Spangler, the sophomore transfer from Gonzaga, scored 15 points and hauled down 17 rebounds, as the Sooners took over second place in the Big 12, improving to 6-2 in the conference, behind 6-0 Kansas.
Oklahoma held the Cowboys to just 40% shooting, clamping down especially hard on leading scorers Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, holding the duo to 13-for-35 overall and just 3-for-16 from three-point range. If not for Phil Forte III coming off the Cowboy bench to score 20 points - going 6-for-6 on threes - the score would have been even more lopsided.
The Sooners took advantage of a wide disparity in fouls, making 30 of 42 free throws, while the Cowboys were just 15-for-22, but, Oklahoma State held a solid - 42-37 - edge on the boards, shot 46% from the field and were 8-for-17 from beyond the arc (47%). Spangler was 5-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the line.
Spangler's presence in the middle has caused issues for other Big 12 squads. The Sooners have recently stunned Iowa State and Baylor, and have won four straight against conference foes. Five teams from the Big 12 - Kansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas - are currently ranked in the Top 25.
The return date for the second part of the bedlam, series is February 15 at Oklahoma State.