Sooners run into road block in Ames

Oklahoma's Taj Gray's shot is blocked by Iowa State center Jared Homan during the Clycones' 74-66 win over the Sooners Saturday in Ames, Iowa. Gray scored 21 poitns and grabbed 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to extend Oklahoma's winning streak to 11 games. With the loss to Sooners fall to 16-3 overall and 5-1 in Big 12 play. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

Winning on the road in the Big 12 is never easy, even if you're 5-0 playing against an 0-5 team on at their place.

Oklahoma found that out first-hand Saturday as their 10-game winning streak came to a screeching halt with a 74-66 loss to Big 12 cellar dweller Iowa State.

The Cylcones, who had lost six straight games, got a game-high 23 points from Curtis Stinson and used an athletic zone defense that forced 18 turnovers and took the Sooners out of their rhythm offensively.

"You're not going to turn the ball over 18 times and beat anybody, especially when every turnover winds up being a layup. We gave up too many easy shots," said Sampson, whose Sooners fell to 5-1 in conference play and 16-3 overall.

"Iowa State was a wounded animal tonight. That team was picked to finish fifth in the league, and tonight you saw why. Nobody was going to go through this league unscathed."

Oklahoma jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but the Cyclones went on a 19-4 run over the next 12 minutes to take a 21-11 lead with 6:15 to go in the first half. Senior guard Jaison Williams finally ended OU's dry spell with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to four.

Iowa State led 30-25 at halftime and started the second half with a 13-3 run to take their largest lead at 43-28 with 16:35 to go. Oklahoma would respond minutes later with a 13-2 run, including three 3-pointers by Lawrence McKenzie, to cut the lead to 45-41 with 12 minutes to go.

However, the Cyclones answered with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 11 at the 9:47 mark. OU would cut the lead to six with 1:29 to go, but ISU finished off the game with five free throws down the stretch. In all, the Cyclones hit 22 of their 39 free throw attempts. The Sooners only attempted 10 free throws.

"It was a poor performance," said Sampson. "I wish I had an answer for this. You feel like sometimes you know your team and kind of know what to expect, but tonight was an ambush.

"We just played poorly. There's not a lot of explanation. That wasn't a Sooner basketball team — turnovers, not attacking. It just wasn't there tonight."

Taj Gray was great once again for the Sooners, despite being blanketed by ISU's 2-3 zone defense. Gray finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Joining Gray in double figures was Kevin Bookout and McKenzie. Bookout totaled 12 points and 12 rebounds. McKenzie finished with 15 on five of nine shooting from 3-point range.

"Their crowd was good today. Great environment, great atmosphere," Sampson said. "The only thing that wasn't real good was us.

"We've got to get back, fix some things and move on to the next one. You don't have time to dwell on these things this time of year."

Next up for the Sooners is Texas A&M Wednesday in Norman. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

OU-Iowa State Box Score

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories