WICHITA — A national audience was treated to the Trae Young Show on Saturday afternoon.
Every 3-pointer three steps beyond the arc, every one-handed dart for an assist, every teardrop floater over the outstretched arms of a Wichita State defender only added to the mystique of the freshman from Norman, Okla.
Young, the nation's leading scorer, torched the No. 3 team in the nation for 29 points and 10 assists to power Oklahoma to a 91-83 upset victory over Wichita State at Intrust Bank Arena. It was the seventh straight game Young scored at least 28 points, as OU improved to 8-1 and WSU fell to 8-2.
Darral Willis led WSU with 20 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, while Landry Shamet scored 17 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Conner Frankamp (14 points) and Shaquille Morris (10) also finished in double-digits.
The question entering Saturday was how WSU was going to handle Young in ball screen situations. WSU started out the game switching every screen, as long as it didn't involve the center.
OU immediately adjusted its game plan to exclusively set screens for Young with whomever WSU centers Shaquille Morris or Rauno Nurger were guarding. Since WSU was unable to switch, it sent the rest of its defense scrambling to help.
Young thrives against scrambling defenses and he was able to routinely detect the Shockers' vulnerability. Whether it was bombing away from well beyond the arc or kicking to Brady Manek, a 6-foot-9 freshman who spent much of the game uncovered standing on the 3-point line. Manek made WSU pay by drilling 5 of 13 three-pointers and scoring a career-high 21 points.
When WSU switched to a zone defense in the second half, Young was able to manipulate WSU's defenders into allowing an open shot. The Sooners connected on 13 3-pointers for the game, which isn't out of the ordinary but it was magnified by one of WSU's worst outside shooting games of the season.
WSU's shooting woes came against a defense that ranked No. 290 in opponent 3-point shooting defense, as teams were shooting close to 39 percent from beyond the arc against OU. On Saturday, WSU shot 25 percent, its second-lowest mark on the season, and tied a season-low with six 3-pointers.
WSU was able to keep up with Young's rapid scoring pace for the first eight minutes, but the Sooners operated at an elite level on offense for the entire 20 minutes of the first half, scoring 54 points on 40 possessions for 1.35 points per possession to take a 15-point lead into halftime.
Manek drilled a 3-pointer in response to WSU closing to within 37-32 with 5:46 remaining in the first half, then Young followed with another flamethrower from deep to extend the lead to 43-32. Another 3-pointer, this one from Kameron McGusty, extended the lead to 16 and a Christian James lay-up put WSU in a 17-point hole.
WSU rallied at the start of the second half, as Frankamp drilled a jumper and Willis followed with four straight points to trim OU's lead to 56-47 three minutes into the half. A Willis 3-pointer a minute later cut OU's lead to 58-50, but that's as close as WSU would come until the final minute.
The Shockers made one final push, cutting an 18-point deficit with 8:25 remaining to 80-71 with 2:57 to play after Rashard Kelly capped an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer, and then to 84-78 with 40 seconds remaining on a Frankamp 3-pointer. But OU's James made a pair of free throws and Frankamp missed his next 3-pointer.
WSU ran out of time and possessions.
Another key to OU's victory was playing WSU to a draw in the rebounding battle. The Sooners entered as an average rebounding team, while WSU was the No. 1 rebounding team in college basketball. That wasn't evident by the box score on Saturday, as OU played WSU to an even tie with 43 and the Sooners grabbed them at a higher percentage.
It is the second straight loss for WSU at Intrust Bank Arena after Oklahoma State defeated the Shockers 93-76 last December. WSU had won the first six times it played in its home-away-from-home.