AMES, Iowa - No. 4 Oklahoma outscored Iowa State 13-2 in the final 5:12 of the game to outlast the Cyclones, 78-68 Saturday afternoon in Hilton Coliseum. ISU fought hard against the nationally-ranked Sooners, falling to 12-9 overall and 1-5 in league play.
"We need to play one day at a time, keep working and keep getting better," ISU head coach Greg McDermott said. "Oklahoma is a talented team and we played toe to toe with them after getting punched in the mouth. I am proud of our team's effort, and for the most part our execution."
Oklahoma took control midway through the first half by staging a 16-4 run to take a 19-10 lead with 10:38 left in the opening period. OU freshman Willie Warren had the hot hand, draining three long-range bombs. ISU cut the lead to eight points (26-18) on a Craig Brackins 3-pointer, but Warren answered with another trey on the other end to push the OU lead back up to 29-18 with 7:08 left before intermission.
The Cyclones braved the early OU advantage by mounting a 9-0 run to close the gap to 29-27 with 3:03 left before the break. Diante Garrett keyed the run, slashing for two buckets in the paint and burying a three to help ISU get back into the game.
OU scored on back-to-back possessions to increase its lead to 33-27, but ISU scored the last six points of the half behind two baskets by Brackins and a last-second shot from Jamie Vanderbeken to tie the game at 33-33 at the break.
Brackins had 13 points and Garrett tallied 11 points in the first half for the Cyclones.
Both teams traded leads through the first nine minutes of the second period. Blake Griffin gave OU a three-point lead (47-44) with 13:37 left, but ISU's Bryan Petersen canned a long trey to knot the game at 47-47 on ISU's next possession.
The Cyclones retook the lead at 58-57 with 7:27 remaining on consecutive baskets from Garrett. OU then capitalized on a huge break, as Blake Griffin made his first free-throw and missed his second, but the Sooners grabbed the offensive rebound and found Warren for a deep trey to convert the four-point play and give OU a 61-58 lead with 6:42 left.
After OU took a five-point lead, ISU got back-to-back treys from Vanderbeken and Lucca Staiger to move ahead 66-65 with 5:12 left. However, OU bounced right back with buckets on its next two possessions to sneak ahead 69-66 with 3:55 remaining.
ISU had a couple of chances to make a dent into the lead. Garrett missed two free-throws and then Austin Johnson hit a huge trey with the shot clock running down to give OU a 72-66 lead with 1:47 remaining.
Garrett finished the game with 17 points and 10 assists, while Brackins recorded his ninth double-double in his last 16 games with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Vanderbeken came off the bench to provide a spark, scoring 12 points.
Warren paced the Sooners with 29 points and Blake Griffin had 23 points and 15 boards in the win.
The Cyclones are back in action on Tuesday, traveling to Kansas State in a 7 p.m. tipoff.