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‘The message was to keep guarding’: Sooners defense helps fuel 1st half run

With 8:13 left in the 1st half, West Virginia Mountaineers‘ Quinn Slazinski went to the line for two shots. He ended up making both free throw attempts to give the Mountaineers an 18-12 lead.

The Sooners’ offense once again could not find a rhythm for a long stretch of the game. It looked like they could have another dogfight on their hands.

But from the under eight-minute TV timeout to the under four TV timeout, the Sooners went on a 10-2 run to take the 22-20 lead. The Sooners would end up outscoring the Mountaineers 17-7 to close out the half but it was that run that gave them the momentum.

Jalon Moore scored six of his team high 16 points during that stretch. He spoke about what changed after that timeout. “The message was to keep guarding,” Moore said. “Our shots are going to fall. Our offense is going to come and I feel like that sequence just gave us a spark and gave us the energy we needed. That’s what really boosted our offense and we just kept guarding.”

The Sooners would take a four-point lead to the half but would quickly get that to double digits in the second half. The game was really never close after that.

But it all started with how well they played defensively. Their defense bought their offense time to get going. That was something that wasn’t happening the last few games and something Porter Moser wanted them to get back to. It paid off Wednesday night.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire