It was another scoring barrage from senior Cameron Clark. The Sooner forward had 22 points—12 off of his four three-pointers—to go along with eight rebounds in Friday’s 101-81 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. Clark’s game was multifaceted. Of course, he was hitting the threes, but he also scored by attacking the basket and via transition opportunities. At some points, it appeared as if he couldn’t miss. His attack, combined with the rapid pace of the Sooner offense, made him almost un-guardable.
However, Clark’s multilayered attack was a mere microcosm of the Sooners’ offense. Six Sooners scored seven or more points in the contest, en route to a convincing victory. Buddy Hield was as reliable as he has been all year, second in scoring only to Clark with 17 points. Jordan Woodard, as the orchestrator of the offense, was next with a career-high 16, half of which came from the free throw line as a result of his relentless driving to the basket. Isaiah Cousins continued his impressive play from the previous two games, by scoring 14 points and also dishing out five assists. Ryan Spangler added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Jelon Hornbeak scored seven points, grabbed four boards, and recorded three assists off the bench.
Though, as convincing as the Sooners won, it appeared, at first, that they were in for a battle. The Trojans hung around like gnats for much of the first half; the Sooners went on an 11-0 run from the 9:18 to 7:44 marks, to increase their lead to 13 and finally separate themselves. Shortly thereafter, Woodard went on a scoring escapade in which he recorded eight straight points—one on an and-1 layup—and the Sooner offense was rolling. Cousins scored on a fast break. Spangler got a dunk. Hield scored on a fast break. Cousins hit a three. Just like that, after being up only 25-23 with under 10 minutes to go, Oklahoma went into halftime with a commanding 59-44 lead.
The first few minutes of the second half started out like the first, with the teams trading blows. But after the Sooner offense got warmed up, there was nothing the Trojans could do except brace themselves for the inevitable flood of points. When Trey Slate, a walk on, hit a layup to propel the Sooners past the 100 mark, the crowd erupted in appreciation. The Sooner offense was truly excellent.
A glance at the stats, and it’s easy to see why Oklahoma excelled today. For one thing, they were hitting a lot of threes, going 12-for-28 (42.9%) on the day. However, their overall shooting was just good, not great, at 46.5%. The juxtaposition of their massive scoring output, yet average percentage doesn’t add up. Then, one’s eye catches the glaring 71 under the shots attempted column and everything starts to make sense. The Sooners fast pace presented them with more opportunities to shoot the ball. It wasn’t necessarily that they shot better than usual, they were just able to shoot more, thus creating a better chance for points. They also outscored the Trojans 16-4 on the fast break, another boon brought on by the up-tempo style offense that has become quintessential to Lon Kruger teams.
To conclude, today was a good win for the Sooners. Though perhaps not against the highest quality of opponent, it still allowed them to show off their myriad of offensive weapons. The up-tempo style also showed its advantages, and Cousins continued his evolution into a consistent scoring threat. You’re not going to lose many games in which you score 101 points.
Next up, Oklahoma (5-1) will take on a tough Mercer Bears team (5-3). The Bears have already notched a victory against Seton Hall, the team Oklahoma beat in thrilling fashion in Brooklyn, and played Texas close. The Sooners had better not overlook the Bears, or they could be on the wrong end of another upset. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CST on Monday, Dec. 2.
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