NORMAN, Okla. — If this was Trae Young’s last home game for Oklahoma, he went out a winner.
Young had 15 points and six assists to help Oklahoma defeat Iowa State 81-60 on Friday night. The freshman who leads the nation in scoring and assists is projected to be a high draft pick if he leaves school. He has said he will sit down with his family after the season to make a decision.
Kameron McGusty scored 18 points and Christian James added 15 for the Sooners (18-12, 8-10 Big 12), who needed the win to strengthen their NCAA Tournament resume after a blowout loss to Baylor earlier in the week. It was the first time Oklahoma won by more than 10 points since Jan. 3.
“It was a great team performance,” senior Khadeem Lattin said. “We played great defense, we moved the ball well.”
Lattin scored just one point in his final home game, but the center set the school record for career blocks with a stuff in the first half. He surpassed Al Beal’s mark of 230 blocks that had stood since 1980.
“I mean, it was special just to be able to grab a record in front of your own home crowd with people who have been there for you the most,” Lattin said. “It’s special. I really appreciate that.”
Lindell Wigginton scored 20 points for Iowa State (13-17, 4-14), which lost its sixth straight.
The Sooners led 39-32 at halftime, despite Young scoring just seven points on 1-for-9 shooting. Wigginton scored 14 points in the first half, including a poster dunk over Lattin, but the Cyclones shot just 33.3 percent before the break.
Young got it going early in the second half to help the Sooners take control. He made a driving layup to put the Sooners up 48-36, then found McGusty in the corner for a 3-pointer to extend Oklahoma’s lead to 15.
A lob from Young to Brady Manek for a dunk put the Sooners up 73-51 with about six minutes remaining.
Lattin fouled out and left the game to a standing ovation with 5:47 left to play.
It was a complete breakdown for the Cyclones in the second half. Wigginton said it’s because the players aren’t listening to coach Steve Prohm.
“Coach is a winner, and everybody isn’t really buying into what he is saying and doing what he does best, so that’s really been the frustrating part,” Wigginton said.
Iowa State: The Cyclones were without injured starters Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young for the fourth straight game, and they continued to struggle. Iowa State shot just 32.3 percent from the field.
Oklahoma: The Sooners proved they could win without a huge scoring performance from Young. They had lost six straight at one point, but now they have won two of three to get back on track heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
“I like what they are thinking right now and how they are thinking right now,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “They know we have got to keep working defensively and keep moving the ball. Obviously it’s like a new beginning when you get into post season play so everyone starts fresh, and we are relatively healthy and feeling good about tonight for sure.”
Iowa State made just 15 of 27 free throws. Oklahoma made one more free throw than the Cyclones, despite having seven fewer attempts.
Prohm, taking blame for Iowa State’s struggles: “We should be better. We are not. I take blame. Put it on me. I haven’t got them to perform on the level they need to. It’s unacceptable. It’s not what this program deserves. Bottom line. I get it. I know it. And it’s frustrating because it deserves better.”
Iowa State will play in the Big 12 Tournament.
Oklahoma will play in the Big 12 Tournament.