The Oklahoma Sooners defeated the North Texas Mean Green on Thursday night by a score of 82-72 for a third straight win, improving their record to 5-1 on the season. Oklahoma got off to a relatively slow start offensively, resulting in the lowest scoring game of the season for the Sooners. Nevertheless, after going into the half knotted up at 38, Lon Kruger’s squad tightened up defensively, allowing their offense to take off in the final 20 minutes.
Oh, and Trae Young did something tonight that not even the great Buddy Hield ever managed to pull off in his Sooner career:
Here's a feat even a great scorer like Buddy Hield didn't accomplish at OU...— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 1, 2017
Trae Young has scored 3️⃣0️⃣+ points in three straight games. pic.twitter.com/XLBOpnABDJ
- The Sooners are sharing the ball at an incredible clip. Coming into the contest, OU averaged nearly 20 assists per game, ranking 14th in the nation. Tonight’s 20 assists marked the fourth time in six games that the Crimson & Cream recorded 20 or more assists, going 4-0 in those contests. Half of those assists came by way of the freshman phenom, Trae Young. Here’s a look at perhaps the most amazing dish of the night:
It's showtime. Young steals and then dishes it behind-the-back to James for the slam. #Sooners pic.twitter.com/xTzrBRiIX8— OUHoops (@ouhoops) December 1, 2017
- Speaking of Trae Young, coming into the night, Young was second in the nation in scoring with 28.2 points per game and third in assists with 8.6. He improved upon both of those averages tonight with a double-double, going for 32 points and 10 assists. At this rate, Trae is well on his way to some serious attention when it comes time for individual awards. Check out yet another example of Young’s dynamic play-making ability with this alley-oop to Khadeem Lattin:
Trae Young gets his double-double with this sweet alley-oop to Lattin. #Sooners pic.twitter.com/OhVdAwS1Mv— OUHoops (@ouhoops) December 1, 2017
- Defensively, the Sooners were giving up 80 PPG coming into tonight’s game. While the Mean Green only scored 72 points, several buckets early on came without much resistance. Overall, North Texas shot 50% from the field, including 13 of 29 makes from three point territory. Nine of those makes came in the first half, and many of those were on open looks. Part of the defensive issues could stem from a lack of motivation from playing a lesser opponent, but Kruger will want to see his young ball club tighten up its team defense earlier instead of waiting to adjust in the second half.
Oklahoma will host the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners on Monday, December 4th. UTSA was picked to finish 9th in the Conference USA preseason poll. Looking ahead, the Sooners will travel to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to face a highly rated USC team 12/8. The big-name matchup could be a battle between two top 25 teams if the poll voters are impressed enough with this ever-improving Sooner squad by next week.
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