Price, Bookout lead Sooners past Iowa State

Iowa State's Jared Homan defends against Oklahoma's Kevin Bookout during the first half Saturday in Saturday in Ames. Bookout scored a career-high 16 points and Hollis Price scored 31 points, including a career-high nine three-pointers in the Sooners' 70-60 win over the Cyclones.

Hollis Price, less than a week removed from one of his most disappointing nights as a Sooner, put his teammates on his back with 31 points to lead Oklahoma to a 70-60 victory over Iowa State in Ames.

Price's point total could have been the story, but it isn't on this day. It was the timeliness of his buckets that made each of his career-high nine three-pointers so meaningful. For every Iowa State run, Price would have an answer. None more so than his dagger in the second half that put OU back up by eight when the Cyclones had trimmed a lead as high as 16 down to five at 58-53.

Price finished the day 9-of-16 from three-point land and 10-of-18 from the floor. It was his second 30-point performance in the last four games.

Price was also instrumental in the long scoring draught of Iowa State's leader, Jake Sullivan. I've met card-carrying members of the Hell's Angels that had better first halves than the multi-tattooed Sullivan had today. You can thank Price for that.

And while Sullivan came alive for a while in the second half, Price always had a stiff rebuttal that took the wind out of the sails of Sullivan and the Cyclones. After Price canned a trey to make it 51-37, Sullivan bent over in complete frustration knowing that the man he's supposed to be guarding is dominating the game.

Price will get the headlines from this win, but Kevin Bookout quietly posted his second consecutive career-high point total. The Stroud product put in 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting while grabbing five rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

My uncle, a former point guard in his day, has told me repeatedly that Bookout gets phenomenal position, and that if our guards would feed him the ball at the right spots he would soon dominate. Well, today the passes into the interior were in the right place and Bookout had his way with the ISU frontcourt. For the rest of the Big 12, the last two OU games have been a chilling vision of things to come for the true freshman.

Ebi Ere was as cold as ice — no word on if he was willing to sacrifice his love (that was for the Foreigner fans--but his lack of offensive production was picked up by Quannas White. White appeared to be 100% for the first time since the first half against Connecticut, and it showed as his repeated drives into the lane resulted in 11 points. Those points were badly needed as Ere went 1-for-10 from the field and finished with only 5 points.

That might be something to watch for with Ere in the upcoming games. He went through a midseason slump last year as well and Oklahoma as a whole really struggled during that stretch. Aaron McGhee picked up Ere last year, and Quannas White did today, who will be the one to do it the rest of the year if Ere's shooting woes do not improve?

Sullivan and Adam Haluska led Iowa State with 13 points apiece. Both were instrumental in the second half run that brought the Cyclones to within five. Chris Alexander led all rebounders with ten.

With the win, Oklahoma improves to 11-3 and 2-1 in conference play. Iowa State dropped to 10-4 and 0-3 in Big 12 play.

The Sooners can't celebrate their win for too long because the General, Bobby Knight, brings his Texas Tech Red Raiders to Norman on Monday before a national TV audience on ESPN. The last time the two teams played Tech embarrassed Oklahoma in Lubbock before a nation-wide audience by winning 92-79. For some reason, I expect things to be a little different on Monday.

BMart's Player of the Game
Hollis Price: 31 points, 9-of-16 from three-point land, two rebounds and four assists. Iowa State had no answer for him today.

BMart's Play of the Game
Price's three from the left corner that put OU up 61-53 with just over six minutes to go. Iowa State had all the momentum, and Price silenced the Hilton Coliseum crowd. It was beautiful.

BMart's Heartfelt Plea
Fans, give the General hell on Monday night. Have fun with him. I got on the front page of the Daily Oklahoman sports section with a poster last year. This is a win that we will desperately need for seeding purposes come NCAA Tournament time since it is on national TV. The 6th Man should be out in full force at Lloyd Noble on Monday.

Ere 1-10 2-2 5, White 5-10 0-1 11, Price 10-18 2-2 31, Brown 2-9 0-0 4, Bookout 6-7 4-4 16, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Alexander 0-2 0-0 0, Gilber 1-1 1-2 3, Szendrei 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 9-11 70.

Sullivan 5-10 0-1 13, Haluska 5-10 0-0 13, Vroman 2-5 3-6 7, Barnes 1-8 0-0 3, Homan 3-6 3-4 9, Alexander 4-9 1-4 9, Jefferson 2-7 2-3 6. Totals 22-55 9-18 60.

Halftime-Oklahoma 34-24. 3-Point goals-Oklahoma 11-24 (Price 9-16, White 1-3, Ere 1-4, Alexander 0-1), Iowa State 7-13 (Sullivan 3-3, Haluska 3-5, Barnes 1-4, Jefferson 0-1). Fouled out-Gilbert. Rebounds-Oklahoma 34 (Brown 9), Iowa State 40 (Alexander 10). Assists-Oklahoma 15 (White 5), Iowa State 16 (Vroman, Barnes 4). Total fouls-Oklahoma 19, Iowa State 15. A-13,058.

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