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Oklahoma Sooners open Big 12 play with a 71-63 win over the Iowa State Cyclones

The Oklahoma Sooners opened their final year of Big 12 play with a 71-63 win over the Iowa State Cyclones in Norman.

Javian McCollum led the way for the Sooners with 15 points on 6 of 16 from the field.

It took just under two minutes for either team to register their first points of the game, which set the tone for defensive battle Saturday evening. That McCollum three put Oklahoma in front to start the game and they wouldn’t trail again until there were less than five minutes to play.

After leading for nearly the entire game, the Sooners were forced to respond as the Cyclones took a one-point lead with 4:47 to play in the game. And respond, they did. Oklahoma went on to outscore the Cyclones 16-7 over the remainder of the game.

The final stretch saw the Sooners make several defensive stops to keep the Cyclones from coming back to tie the game. And it was their free throw shooting that put the game away. Oklahoma was 7 of 8 from the line in the final 1:23 to seal the game.

Oklahoma shot 47% from the field and 40% from the three-point line and held Iowa State to 43% shooting and 19% from three-point range. Though the Sooners lost the rebounding battle and the turnover battle, they were able to keep Iowa State from taking advantage. Oklahoma also held the edge in fast break points.

In addition to McCollum’s big game, Milos Uzan had 12 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Le'Tre Darthard had 11 points off the bench, shooting 3 of 4 from three-point range. Sam Godwin was the other Sooner in double figures, scoring 10 points on 5 of 8 from the field. Godwin also had six rebounds in the win.

The Oklahoma Sooners moved to 13-1 on the season and 1-0 in Big 12 play. They’ll have a chance to make some noise with a pair of road trips to TCU on Wednesday and to Allen Fieldhouse next Saturday to face the Kansas Jayhawks. The Horned Frogs took the Jayhawks to the bring on Saturday, falling short in a controversial 83-81 loss in Lawrence.

The Sooners are off to a fantastic start, but these next two games will have big-time Big 12 title and NCAA tournament seeding implications.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire