The Sooners moved the ball, they found open shots and played tight defense – denying every inch of the defensive end.
With an 18-point lead on the road against a Creighton team that hadn’t lost in 20 straight games at home, No. 18 Oklahoma stopped doing all of it.
Creighton rallied back, erasing Oklahoma’s big second-half lead in a little more than seven minutes and took advantage of the Sooners late to pull off a stunning 65-63 upset.
“We didn’t do what you have to do offensively,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “ . . . We’ve just got to work harder to get looks that we want. I thought we turned it over a few times there at critical times instead of being solid enough to finish opportunities.”
Creighton (3-0), which shot 24 percent from the field in the first half, hit a trio of 3s in four possessions to start a 24-4 run that gave the Bluejays the lead. During that time, Oklahoma struggled to find a rhythm and forced bad looks.
The Sooners missed four 3s and a deep jumper during Creighton’s run.
“They pressured us a little,” Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler said. “Give them credit, but I think we rushed ourselves a little bit and got away from what made us successful.”
Buddy Hield had a game-high 21 points to lead three Oklahoma players in double figures. Spangler, who knocked down three 3-pointers, finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and TaShawn Thomas had 14 points in a game where he was significantly better than the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.
Still, Oklahoma had a chance late as the lead changed hands six times in the final nine minutes. Holding a four-point lead with 3:37 to play, Oklahoma (1-1) turned the ball over on three straight possessions and missed a pair of 3-pointers.
Oklahoma’s final try, a 3-pointer from the wing by Jordan Woodard as time expired, grazed the front of the rim.
“We’ve just got to go home, settle ourselves down and execute our plays down the line,” Hield said.
Oklahoma plays Northwestern State at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins combined to go 3-for-13 and 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc. They had six assists and six turnovers, limiting the production Oklahoma got from its back court when Hield went cold for the middle third of the game.
“We didn’t do the things that we had to down the stretch with the strength and composure that we had to to win at a tough place,” Kruger said. “We’ll learn from that, and you get better.”