Second-Half Surge Leads OU to Exhibition Win
|Points||B. Skeens - 14||C. James - 16|
|Rebounds||B. Skeens - 7||Two Players - 8|
|Assists||Two Players - 3||C. James - 6|
|Steals||R. Smith - 3||K. Lattin - 5|
|Blocks||B. Skeens - 2||K. Lattin - 3|
NORMAN — Oklahoma used a second-half surge to top Washburn, 84-64, in an exhibition game Tuesday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
After a closely-contested first half where neither team led by more than six points, Washburn went ahead 50-47 five minutes into the second half. In the final 15 minutes, Oklahoma outscored the Ichabods 37-14 while shooting 13-of-21 (.619) during the stretch.
Four Sooners scored in double figures, led by a game-high 16 points from sophomore Christian James. The guard shot 5-of-11 (.455) from the field and added team highs in rebounds (eight) and assists (six).
“It was a terrific opportunity in the exhibition game,” said OU head coach Lon Kruger. “I thought a lot of guys got in the ball game, and defensively in the first half Washburn kind of did what they wanted to do, but we got a little sharper defensively in the second half. Again, just the opportunity to get people a live game situation in front of fans was really good for us, and we’ll benefit from this a lot.”
Junior Khadeem Lattin registered 12 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and five steals. Lattin, one of two returning starters, played a crucial role in OU’s second half by scoring eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and tallying four steals.
Tuesday featured the OU debut of five new Sooners, including freshman Kameron McGusty (12 points) and junior Darrion Strong (10 points).
James said that though the team is young, he is anxious to see what it can do during the season.
“The team still has a lot of work to do but we are very ready to start the season,” said James. “We are a young team, and everyone is working to find their position and their role. I feel as this team matures we will figure out where we will go.”
The Sooners forced 21 Ichabod turnovers, including 12 off of steals, and scored 21 points off Washburn miscues. OU allowed just 11 assists.
OU opens the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 13, against Northwestern State. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. CT tip inside the Lloyd Noble Center. Tickets are available at SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU.