OU overwhelmed in championship

Sooners fall to No. 2 Badgers in Battle 4 Atlantis title game

Sitting on the bench for nearly the entire first half, Wisconsin All-American Frank Kaminsky could have left his team in an unconquerable hole with two cheap fouls early in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game.

Instead, he re-entered the game in the second half with the Badgers holding a surprising one-point lead against Oklahoma.

The Sooners had every opportunity to upset the No. 2 team in the country – keeping Wisconsin off the free-throw line and holding the Badgers to under 30 percent shooting in the first half.

Oklahoma’s own troubles eventually cost the Sooners in an 69-56 loss Friday.

"We know so much more about our club right now than we did three days ago, the goods, bads, everything in between," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "That's the value of playing in a quality tournament like this."

Oklahoma, which was extremely inconsistent on offense, committed a season-high 21 turnovers – 13 in the first half – against its toughest opponent to date. The Sooners started the game 2-for-10, then went a perfect 7-for-7 to rally from an early deficit.

Wisconsin rebounded with Kaminsky to retake the lead as Oklahoma hit just two of its next 14 shots. The Sooners pulled within nine points after hitting five of their next six shots.

Kaminsky, who finished with 17 points in barely a half of play, picked up his second foul with 14:28 to play in the first half and watched Wisconsin (7-0) play the first half without him. Oklahoma never took advantage, leading by three points at the most in a first half that had 11 lead changes and four ties – even without one of the best players in the country on the court.

“I was kinda pissed off,” Kaminsky said of his early foul trouble on the court after the game. “. . . I just tried to turn that pissed off into energy for our team.”

With Kaminsky back in the lineup, the Badgers made Oklahoma pay for its poor play to start the second half.

Wisconsin, which had five players in double figures, ran off a 16-2 run to open the second half as Oklahoma had four turnovers and eight misses in the first seven minutes of play – just two points.

Dinjiyl Walker finished as the only Oklahoma player in double figures with 10 points, and point guard Jordan Woodard had a game-high five turnovers. Buddy Hield, TaShawn Thomas and Ryan Spangler each had four turnovers.

With 14 minutes to go in the game, Hield and guard Isaiah Cousins were a combined 3-for-15 from the field.

"It's a fun deal," Hield said after the game. "We just came up short."

Oklahoma finished with just six assists on 17 made shots while Wisconsin, which attempted 15 more shots than the Sooners, had 19 assists on 27 field goals.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories