With his brother Sean by his side, ORU's Scott Sutton had led his team to six consecutive victories coming into the Lloyd Noble Center to play the Sooners on Thursday night. Coming into the game the Golden Eagles were averaging 70 points per game but that changed when they went up against Lon Kruger's pressure defense. Oklahoma held them to 11 points under their season average by forcing 12 turnovers and holding ORU to just 35% shooting from the floor.
The trio of Steven Pledger, Cameron Clark and and Andrew Fitzgerald scored 49 of Oklahoma's 73 points with Pledge leading the way with 17 while Clark and Fitz dropped in 16 each. Clark showed once again why he's one of the most electrifying players in the conference and a player who needs at least one touch of the ball with every offensive possession. He did it all Thursday night from the defensive steal, three-point jump shot, to the clutch rebound and put back to the alley-oop dunk.
The best thing we say from the Sooners on Thursday night was the ability to adapt a game plan and prove that there is more than just one big man on the roster with the ability to set the tone for a game. Oklahoma fans aren't unfamiliar with Andrew Fitzgerald but he's been overshadowed this season by the outstanding play of Romero Osby who drew most of the focus from the Golden Eagles defensively. That allowed Fitz to take advantage of some one-on-one situations and open jump shots.
Another question that may have been answered on Thursday night was who was going to replace the points that Calvin Newell was scoring. Its no coincidence that Clark's to biggest games of the year have come since Newell departed the team but OU got a boost from the bench as well against ORU in C.J. Washington. In 17 minutes off the bench Washington grabbed 6 boards shot 75% from the floor (8 points) and dished out an assist. It was exactly the type of sixth-man performance the Sooners were needing.
Oklahoma has just one day to catch their breath and prepare before Arkansas comes in for a 2:00 Saturday afternoon game.