Homegrown Sooners leave mark on Bedlam

OU benefits from pair of talented and true Sooners against Oklahoma State

Despite growing up a Oklahoma fan, point guard Jordan Woodard didn’t make it a point to beat Bedlam rival Oklahoma State.

Woodard said Thursday as the Sooners prepare for the second installment of Bedlam this season that he wanted to beat everyone. He’s just made a habit out of beating Oklahoma State since he got to Norman – a short drive from his home town of Arcadia.

“It feels good,” said Woodard, who added that being a fan of Oklahoma was part of his decision to play for the Sooners. “That’s something you can carry under your belt. Hopefully, I can keep that streak going.”

Woodard is one of three Oklahomans on the Sooners roster. Junior forward Ryan Spangler and C.J. Cole are the other two.

Since Woodard arrived on campus, Oklahoma hasn’t lost to its in-state rival.

The No. 24 Sooners (13-7, 4-4) are a perfect 3-0 heading into Saturday’s game and 5-2 in the past three years.

Every time Oklahoma wins, it’s a native-born son doing most of the work. In Round 1 last year and the first Bedlam for Woodard and Spangler, the duo combined with Oklahoma City-native Tyler Neal to beat the Cowboys in the first Bedlam matchup between ranked teams in almost a decade.

Spangler had 15 points and 17 rebounds, which remains a career high. Woodard had 17 of his 18 points in the second half, and Neal scored 15 points off the bench.

Last year in Stillwater, Woodard hit a few clutch free throws in the final minute of overtime to seal Oklahoma’s fourth season sweep in nine years. The Sooners will be looking for No. 5 in a decade Saturday.

“Rivalry games, local match-ups are always a little more significant to those who have grown up with it,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Obviously, it's important to everyone but those who have watched Bedlam before they were here, while they were in middle school and high school, probably understand a little bit more deeply the significance.”

Spangler, who left the state and played for Gonzaga after a state runner-up finish his senior year at Bridge Creek, knows the significance of the rivalry.

He gets it.

“I can’t lose,” he said. “I can’t lose against another Oklahoma team. I’ll give it all I got. Hopefully, we’ll come out on top.”

Since he and Woodard got to campus, the Sooners haven’t lost. Oklahoma, which has a chance to win four in-state games for the first time since the 2004-05 season, hasn’t lost at home to Oklahoma State in since 2004. The road to Stillwater, although recently paved with wins, hasn’t found as much success.

Still, that’s where Spangler prefers to go.

“I like road games even a little more than I do home games,” Spangler said. “It’s always fun getting a win and getting to walk out and see their crowd not very happy.”

Spangler likes the pre-game roar of the crowd, and in Bedlam, it always seems to roar a little louder. His favorite part though is when everyone goes silent a few minutes into the game. “A couple minutes goes in the game, they can sit down,” Spangler said with a smile.

The Oklahomans on the Sooners’ roster always have a little something extra saved for Bedlam – even if they really shouldn’t.

“Being from Oklahoma, we take a lot of pride going as hard as we can against them,” Spangler said. “We should do that every game, but it’s kind of easier to get up for OSU and play harder against them.”

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