Oklahoma Sooners beat BYU 82-66 with strong second half performance

Coming out of their loss to UCF, questions were once again beginning to mount as the Oklahoma Sooners fell out of the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll and the AP top 25 for the first time in months.

Well, they bounced back from their lackluster performance against the Knights with a big 82-66 win over the No. 19 ranked (Coaches Poll) BYU Cougars.

In a game that was tied at halftime, the Oklahoma Sooners outscored the Cougars 48-32 and held BYU to 35.9% shooting in the game.

BYU, who was one of the more prolific offenses in the nation, were held under 70 points for just the fourth time this season. The Cougars also came into the game leading the Big 12 with 84.4 points per game. Oklahoma shot better from the field and from three-point range to earn the upset victory.

The Sooners shot just shy of 50% from the field in the win and were 9 of 26 from three for 34.6% on the evening.

Javian McCollum led the way with 20 points on 5 of 11 shooting. He was just 2 of 8 from three, but was really good inside the three-point arch, going 3 of 3 and he was 8 of 8 from the free throw line.

Milos Uzan chipped in 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Jalon Moore added 11 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Rivaldo Soares continued his nice run of late with 12 points and six rebounds. John Hugley also had a strong showing in his reserve role, with eight points and three boards.

Oklahoma won the rebounding battle but gave up five more offensive rebounds than the Cougars. The Sooners defense held BYU to just two second-chance points, highlighting a stellar defensive performance.

The win brings the Sooners even at 5-5 in Big 12 play and gives them another nice note for their NCAA tournament resume. They’re just two games out of first place in the conference but have to continue putting together performances like this one for a solid 40 minutes.

The Sooners did a fantastic job down the stretch, keeping in control and hitting their free throws when the referees began ushering players to the foul line. If they can continue to close games like that and provide that kind of defensive effort for a full game, they’ll have a chance to make some noise this spring.

The Oklahoma Sooners paid tribute to music icon and supporter Toby Keith by placing a guitar in the spot he occupied when attending Oklahoma Basketball games.

Feb 6, 2024; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners pay respect to Toby Keith by placing a guitar, hat, and red solo cup in his seat before the start of a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lloyd Noble Center.  Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Porter Moser shared in the postgame press conference just what Keith meant to him and even remarked that the players played in honor of Toby Keith in the win.

More: Sooner Nation pays tribute, mourns the loss of Toby Keith


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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire