NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Austin Reaves was back to his usual stat-stuffing ways. Oklahoma’s scoring leader this season missed the previous two games while in COVID-19 protocols. He returned Saturday and had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as No. 9 Oklahoma held off Iowa State 79-72 on Saturday for the Cyclones’ seventh straight loss.
“He’s a big piece to our team,” Oklahoma’s Brady Manek said. “He does well facilitating, getting guys open, sharing the ball. He’s got a good mind for the game. He plays well at his position, he gets off screens, finds open guys. ... He really did a good job and on top of that, he scored a lot. “That’s what we need from him. He’s that kind of player. We need him to come out and do that every night.”
Manek, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since being out with COVID-19, had nine points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Sooners (12-5, 7-4 Big 12). “I knew I needed to
play well inside today,” Manek said. “Sometimes you block out and the ball doesn’t come to you, and I felt like it was coming right to me today. It was weird. But all around, I think we did well. As a team, we rebounded well.”
Elijah Harkless scored a season-high 19 points and Umoja Gibson added 18 points for Oklahoma, which bounced back from a close loss at No. 10 Texas Tech. The Sooners led 40-36 at halftime. Iowa State tied it at 53 on a 3-pointer by Bolton with just over 11 minutes to play, but Oklahoma’s Kur Kuath threw down a two-handed jam on a lob from Reaves. Iowa State led 58-57 before the Sooners went on an 11-0 run that included seven points by Jalen Hill and put Oklahoma in control for good.