Shaky Start Ends Well As Oklahoma Sooners Down Oklahoma Christian 88-76

USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners remained perfect in exhibition play after securing an 88-76 win over the Oklahoma Christian Eagles. After being dominated in nearly every aspect of the game during the first half, OU looked shell shocked. Tempo had become dictated by the opposition forcing the Sooners to look uncomfortable defensively. The speed along with enthusiasm of the Eagles let OC cling to a 41-38 halftime lead. However, Lon Kruger lit a fire under his squad during the break.

We just need to pick it up early. We can't wait until the second half to jump on teams. We started off sluggish but we got our team ready and we got our mojo back together and we kept going afterwards. -Buddy Hield

While the first half played witness to a back-and-forth performance, the Sooners came out looking to push the pace after the break. Eventually they would take control of the second half lead to a 19-8 spurt that Dan Hays and his group were unable to overcome. Up 59-47, Kruger and his team never looked back.

The Good

Oklahoma started the second half with seven solid possessions in which they scored each time. The real difference can be found in the fact that the Sooners made 11 of their 25 attempts (44%) from beyond the arc. Freshman point guard, Jordan Woodard, got the party started as he finished 3-of-5 from range. Not to be out done by a younger counterpart, Buddy Hield added 5-of-7 to stretch the floor. Needless to say, this is a backcourt that appears to be set for the next several years.

On the night, OU found a plethora of scoring options once again. Four players scored in double digits including Je'lon Hornbeak with 12 and Ryan Spangler with 11. Standing tall was none other than Woodard as he stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Most impressively, this is a point guard who committed a single turnover in 33 minutes of game time. Yet, it was Hield who stole the show with his 29 points, 19 of which came in the second half.

The Bad

Cameron Clark found himself on the bench for unknown reasons. After first thought, it was chalked up to him being in foul trouble. But, a glance at the stat sheet revealed he had picked up only a single foul. An initial showing of 23 points against Washburn left high hopes and expectation for this senior. On the evening, he found himself with a mere 6 points facing an undersized opponent.

The Ugly

For the second straight game, Lon Kruger found himself without a few players at his disposal. Frank Booker added his name to the list of players to miss a game due to a violation of team rules. Also out tonight was Isaiah Cousins who is nursing an ankle injury

Up Next

The Oklahoma Sooners will travel to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Dallas, Texas. Needless to say, the competition gets real in a hurry as this will be the opening game of the season. Lon Kruger needs to keep his players healthy and out of trouble in order to have this squad at full strength once the season begins.

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