Sooners Fall to No. 25 Gators
|Points||Hayes - 20||Odomes - 13|
|Rebounds||Hayes - 9||Doolittle - 9|
|Assists||Hill - 8||James - 2|
|Steals||Hill - 2||Two Players - 2|
|Blocks||Hayes - 3||McNeace - 2|
NORMAN (AP) — Florida coach Mike White has the utmost respect for Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. That's why the Gators' performance Saturday against the Sooners meant so much to him.
Kevarrius Hayes scored a career-high 20 points to help No. 25 Florida beat Oklahoma 84-52 in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Rashard Odomes scored 13 points for the Sooners (8-12), and Kameron McGusty had 10.
"It feels good," White said. "To come to Oklahoma and beat a Lon Kruger team by one point would have felt great."
Hayes' previous career high was 14 points. The sophomore post player was averaging just 5.6 points coming into the day.
"The ball just finds him at times," White said. "He doesn't have an agenda of, `Coach, call this play for me, and when I get the ball, I'm going to try to do this to score this many points.' He's not worried about touches."
Canyon Barry scored 15 points and Devin Robinson had 13 for the Gators (16-5), who have won two in a row since dropping consecutive games to South Carolina and Vanderbilt . Florida scored a season-high 106 points against LSU on Wednesday , and then held Oklahoma to 27.7-percent shooting.
Oklahoma has struggled at times this season, but the Sooners were good enough to beat then-No. 7 West Virginia on the road on Jan. 18.
"That's something the coaches stressed," Barry said. "Obviously, every game for us is important. You have to have the right mindset. Oklahoma's a young team. They're very talented."
Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma's leading scorer for the season with 17 points per game, went scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting. The senior guard was benched for most of the second half.
Kruger said Woodard wasn't feeling well and felt dizzy in the second half, but also added that Woodard "couldn't get anything going."
Oklahoma led 20-18 before Florida took control. Barry drained three underhanded free throws with 4 seconds left in the first half to put the Gators up 43-28 at the break.
The Sooners shot 24.2 percent from the field in the first half and missed all six of their 3-point tries. They finished 1 for 16 from beyond the arc.
"Not much from our perspective, not much good there," said Kruger, who coached Florida to the 1994 Final Four. "I thought Mike (White) did a great job. He's got a really good team. After the first 10 minutes, they pretty much dominated every aspect."