Oklahoma star Buddy Hield made a case for the National Player of the Year with a 36-point performance on Sunday. He carried Oklahoma straight into the Sweet 16 in the 85-81 win over Virginia Commonwealth University.
The senior guard scored only seven points in the first half but the Sooners was up 44-31. However, VCU erased the 13-point lead in the second half led by guards JeQuan Lewis and Melvin Johnson.
Nevertheless, Hield showed why he’s a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year in the second half by scoring 29 of his 36 points. According to Yahoo! Sports, it was the 22-year-old’s 11th 30-point game of the season and the ninth time where he scored 20 or more in a half.
He finished with a stat line of 36 points, seven rebounds and one help while shooting 11 for 20 from the field. Hield also made six three-point shots and made 80 percent of his free throws.
“I think this is the best one because it means a lot, because it’s the NCAA Tournament, big stage, win or go home. And you don’t get these moments back every time. Everybody’s watching, so just relishing these type of moments is special,” Hield said after the game via USA Today.
The crowd at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City started chanting his name as the Sooners advance to the next round of competition. It was his free throws that iced the game and sent the Rams out of the tournament.
“Buddy! Buddy! Buddy!” the crowd chanted as Hield played his final collegiate game in the state of Oklahoma. Guards Jordan Woodward and Isaiah Cousins added 17 and 15 points, respectively.
On the other hand, Lewis scored 22 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished nine assists for VCU. Johnson added a team-high 23 points while forward Michael Gilmore chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
Photo Courtesy: Jeff Turner/Wikimedia.