Oklahoma Sooners Basketball recorded a much needed victory Saturday versus Texas Christian Basketball
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The Manek Show

All Oklahoma junior Brady Manek could do was sigh. Shot after makeable shot simply not falling in the Sooners game Tuesday. A look of disgust that he just could not do anything about Tuesday evening. Shake it off and move on.

Manek did that in a huge way. He scored a career-high 31 points in helping the Sooners to an 83-63 victory against visiting TCU on Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

To go with the 31 points, Manek made a career-best seven 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds. His final two free throws of the game put him over 1,000 career points.

“Collectively, I didn’t shoot it well at all vs. Kansas,” Manek said. “I think it played well into me wanting to bounce back for me all week. It frustrated me all week, it tore me. But I bounced back. Teammates helped me, found me when I was open. I thought we moved the ball well today. We played well as a team.”

It wasn’t just the points, but the efficiency for the Harrah native. Manek was 10-of-15 shooting from the field and a blistering 7 of 9 from 3-point territory.

The first half has been a struggle for the Sooners for nearly the entire season, but OU took a 38-26 lead into halftime and never looked back.

If you felt this was a must-win game for OU after back-to-back losses, then this was the type of response that was desperately needed with a trip to No. 2 Baylor coming up Monday evening.

“I thought the guys had a really good focus from the start,” head coach Lon Kruger said. “It was really great to see them play with a little confidence and freedom and move the ball like they did. Of course, when shots go in, it makes everything seem better. But these guys up here really did a good job.

“It's great to see Brady with 1,000 points. It's fantastic. He's been feeling good all day. Again, a lot of guys contributed and had good ball games. I thought on both ends of the floor, they were pretty solid throughout.”

Manek definitely led the charge, but OU was able to get meaningful contributions from Austin Reaves (14 points), Kristian Doolittle (11 points) and De’Vion Harmon (10 points).

Notes

*Have a better offensive rhythm and watch the assist totals rack up. OU finished with 20 assists on 29 made field goals, a season-high.

“When you make shots, you’re gonna get more assists, of course,” Kruger said. “But I thought the guys moving the ball helped to make shots and then of course finishing shots to create assists opportunity. Yea, best ball movement we’ve had a in while.”

Jamal Bieniemy hasn’t found the scoring stroke, but he was solid with seven assists, while Reaves added five more.

*Manek knew he was close to 1,000 career points, and it definitely meant a lot for him to earn that honor.

“It's pretty cool. Growing up as a fan of OU and the Sooners and coming to games and playing here and reaching that is really cool,” Manek said. “You have to give it up to my teammates. Over the years, they've found me. A lot of my points have been catch-and-shoot. I have to give it up to them.”

*Bring on the Bears. Well, no choice in the matter. Baylor escaped Stillwater with a victory Saturday afternoon and will enter the game at least No. 2 in the country. Included in that are road wins against Texas Tech and Kansas already this conference season.

“Baylor's great. Like a lot of teams in the league,” Kruger said. “They're one of the top one or two ranked teams in the country right now, and deserving of that. Very good team. Scott does a great job. They got size. They got terrific guard play and our guys know what the challenge is, but I know they won't shy away from it. They're looking forward to it.

“We got one day in preparation, which isn't great but that happens for all teams from time to time. But they're good. We have to go down there and battle like crazy and play well.”