Sooners take edition one of Bedlam 2013

Forward Romero Osby sizes up an OSU defender.

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners scored a big time, early conference season statement win, knocking off their Bedlam rival Oklahoma State Cowboys 77-68 Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Overall, it was a good win for us and we beat a really good ball club," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "Oklahoma State is a really good team and any time we can beat a good club like that, we feel good about it."

With the victory, OU improves to 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play and 11-3 overall, while dropping the Cowboys to 1-2 and 11-4 in conference and overall play, respectively.

The Sooners did so behind a wire-to-wire performance that featured four players in double figures and another, guard Je'lon Hornbeak, just off that mark.

Forward Romero Osby led the way with his 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting, but it was forward Amath M'Baye who came up with the biggest stretch for the home team in this first edition of Bedlam on the hardwood, 2013.

When OSU had cut OU's once-14-point lead to six, M'Baye canned a huge triple to run the count to 66-57.

A defensive stop led to point guard Sam Grooms' assist to M'Baye, and he capped off an individual 7-0 run and his 15 points with a thundering alley-oop from Grooms on the ensuing possession.

"I'm pretty sure every single basket was assisted, it came from assists, so that seven-point stretch wasn't mine, it was the team's," M'Baye said. "I thought the team did a great job. The team did a great job executing every time that coach called a play; we know it's going to work."

That made it 70-57 and the Cowboys never climbed closer than seven again.

The Sooners raced out to an early 7-0 advantage and built it to as much as 14 late in the first half when Osby converted an and-one to run the count to 32-18.

It was 38-29 at intermission.

"Any time we can get off to a good start just reinforces what we have done in practice, of course, and we feel good about that," Kruger said. "Everything is just a building process and we feel better, a little more confidence, and the guys start trusting each other a little bit more."

A 7-2 spurt out of the second half gates allowed OU to mount yet another 14-point lead when it was 45-31.

But the Cowboys knifed back behind guard Markel Brown's 19 points.

OU limited OSU stud guard Marcus Smart to just 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting and he turned the ball over four times.

The Cowboys turned it over 15 times overall.

Guard Phil Forte and forward Le'Bryan Nash each poured in 12 for the losing Pokes.

To go along with Osby and M'Baye, guards Buddy Hield and Steven Pledger became the third and fourth Sooners in double figures with 15 and 11, respectively.

"Our chemistry has been really good and I think it's been real good for us because we have young guys who are learning and getting an opportunity to step up and guys getting more comfortable," Osby said. "Steve and I are trying to maintain the front, as far as being seniors in the starting lineup, I think it has been real good for us."

OU now hosts Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a chance to go 3-0 in the conference for the first time in four years dating back to Blake Griffin's final season in 2008-09.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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