Manek lights it up in Oklahoma's 83-63 win over TCU

RYAN ABER
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TCU Oklahoma Basketball

Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) loses control of the ball while being defended by TCU's Desmond Bane (1) and Kevin Samuel (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Garett Fisbeck)

Brady Manek made his home in the corner.

Oklahoma’s junior forward found plenty of opportunities for his favorite shot — the corner 3-pointer — on Saturday against TCU and took advantage.

Manek scored a career-high 31 points to help the Sooners to an 83-63 home win over the Horned Frogs.

Coming off a disappointing shooting performance in Tuesday’s loss to Kansas, in which Manek shot just 4 of 16 from the floor and 2 of 9 from behind the 3-point line, the Sooners made it a priority to find Manek open looks by moving aggressively to the basket to collapse the defense and free him up on the perimeter.

The result was a career-high seven 3-pointers on nine attempts. All seven of Manek’s 3-pointers were assisted.

“We had better ball movement today than what we have had,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “Our guys did a good job of breaking down the defense with the dribble drive and kicking it out to our shooters. We did better making the extra pass. When you do (that) good things happen for you offensively.”

With his final two points — a pair of free throws in the final minute with the game well in hand — Manek became the 46th Sooners player to reach the 1,000-point career mark and set his career high in scoring, besting the 29 points he scored earlier this season.

“It’s really cool,” Manek said of joining the 1,000-point club. “Growing up as a fan of the Sooners and OU, I remember coming to the games with my family and watching some of the players who were legendary. “I’ve had a lot of catch-and-shoot opportunities and without (my teammates), this couldn’t happen.”

Manek’s performance left TCU coach Jamie Dixon shaking his head.

“It’s amazing that we gave him that many open looks, but to his credit he knocked them down,” Dixon said. “He trails and spots up, we just didn’t do a good job of finding him.”

While Manek came out firing from behind the arc, TCU struggled to get much going from distance, especially from the start.

The Horned Frogs missed their first 10 3-point tries and were just 1 of 16 from behind the line in the first half. TCU shot just 22.2 percent from behind the arc, attempting 36 3-pointers. It was the Horned Frogs’ worst shooting percent from distance in a Big 12 game since March 3, 2018 at Texas Tech.

Dixon was pleased at the job his offense did creating shots.

“Best ball movement we’ve had,” Dixon said. “Our guys did a much better job of breaking down the defense with the drive and kicking it. I thought we did better tonight with making the extra pass.

“When you do that good things happen.”

But, more often than not, they didn’t against the Sooners. While Dixon was pleased with ball movement, there wasn’t much else he was happy with as the Horned Frogs lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“We got what we deserved,” Dixon said. “When you’re a step slow defensively, you’re a step slow on offense and that’s why we had a 20-point ballgame tonight.”

Desmond Bane led TCU with 12 points, but was just 5 of 14 from the floor and 2 of 10 from behind the arc.

Austin Reaves scored 14 points for the Sooners and Kristian Doolittle added 11.

BIG PICTURE

TCU: The Horned Frogs’ shooting struggles figure to be an aberration, having shot less than 23% from beyond the 3-point line after coming into the game second in the conference in 3-point shooting.

Oklahoma: The Sooners improved to 3-2 in Big 12 play while knocking off a team ahead of them in the conference standings. The win was much-needed for Oklahoma, as the game was sandwiched between last week’s loss to No. 6 Kansas and Monday’s showdown with No. 2 Baylor.

STAT LINES

Oklahoma had 20 assists, its most in a Big 12 game since Jan. 3, 2018 when the Sooners had 24 against Oklahoma State. Trae Young, now in the top five in the NBA in assists, had 10 assists in that game. In Saturday’s game, Jamal Bieniemy had a season-high seven assists.

UP NEXT

TCU hosts No. 23 Texas Tech on Tuesday. The Horned Frogs are 5-22 against ranked opponents under Jamie Dixon.

Oklahoma travels to No. 2 Baylor on Monday. The Sooners haven’t won in Waco since 2016, a year Oklahoma made the Final Four. Baylor swept the Sooners last season.

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