The Oklahoma Sooners found a few scoring options outside of Buddy Hield in Sunday's 90-68 win over the Northwestern St. Demons. Throughout the first nine minutes of play the star guard remained scoreless until finally finding himself at the free throw line. As the final buzzer rang, Hield quietly poured in 16 points. The open window of opportunity let a few others players pick up the slack.
By the time the Sooners returned to the locker room, Isaiah Cousins racked up 15 points and continues to stuff the stat sheet. He would finish the game with a team high 20 points along with seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. However, the most impressive player of the afternoon for the Sooners had to be Jordan Woodard.
Returning to an attack mentality with nine trips to the charity stripe, Woodard recorded nine assists while dictating the style of play. Consistently pushing the ball to put the Sooners in transition opportunities, a majority of the points came in the paint or outside the three-point line. Mid-range jumpers were few and far between. Woodard finished with 13 points.
In the blocks, Ryan Spangler came alive with 13 points and nine boards. Fans remain unsure of who will provide the scoring down low on a consistent basis between TaShawn Thomas, who continues to search for his role, and Spangler. Regardless, Khadeem Lattin could have a real impact later down the road to compliment the two others. I wouldn't be surprised to see the freshman pass up D.J. Bennett on the depth chart before the season is over.
The most noticeable issue may be found in the notion that Oklahoma failed to sustain momentum from half to half. Entering the second half of play with a 50-30 lead, Lon Kruger and his squad found themselves falling victim to a 10-0 run by the Demons. Cutting the lead significantly with just under eight minutes in regulation the Creighton game quickly came to mind.
Unlike their last contest, the Sooners seized play once again with defense. Usually a run and gun type team, Northwestern St. was forced to take their time in order to set a few things up. Zeek Woodley provided the bright spot collecting 26 total points as the Demons continuously fed him the rock.
The effort proved too little too late as OU ran away with the game in the end. Limiting turnovers becomes key as the Sooners committed 20 in this match-up while the opponent committed 17. Outside of that, Oklahoma owns the rebounding margin and hopes to continue the trend as good rebounds lead to transition buckets.
The Oklahoma Sooners open up play in the Battle For Atlantis on Wednesday against UCLA.