Oklahoma Claims Another Win Down Under
|Points||Young - 21|
|Rebounds||Three Players - 6|
|Assists||Young - 6|
|Steals||McNeace, Shepherd - 2|
|Blocks||Three Players - 1|
SYDNEY – Oklahoma improved to 3-0 “Down Under” with a 104-89 win over the Sydney Kings on Thursday at Penrith Basketball Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Freshman guard Trae Young put together his third-straight 20-point game, finishing with 21 points and six assists.
Junior guard Christian James hit every 3-pointer he attempted (3-for-3) for the second night in a row, tallying 18 points, six boards and three assists. James has shot 10-for-11 from behind the arc during the foreign tour and is averaging 17.3 points per game – second on the team only to Young’s 21.3 scoring average.
“It’s great to see Christian play with confidence,” said Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger. “He’s shooting the ball well, making plays off the dribble, rebounding the ball well…We need that from Christian and it’s good to see him doing that.”
The Sydney Kings, the top pro team in Australia’s largest city and member of the National Basketball League, utilized a roster mixed with returning and signed players along with tryout players attempting to earn contracts with the club. The Kings are the highest level of competition the Sooners have faced thus far on the foreign tour and were led by center Issac Humphries, who played for the University of Kentucky the last two seasons, with 21 points and nine rebounds.
Although the Kings possessed the tallest lineup to face Oklahoma during the foreign tour, the Sooners outrebounded Sydney, 56-37, with a balanced effort of seven players pulling down at least five boards.
“The guys have been fantastic on the boards, especially on the defensive boards,” said Kruger. “A shot goes up and it seems like we have two, three, four guys there at times. Against a big Kings club I think our guys continued to do a good job on the boards.”
Sophomore forward Kristian Doolittle produced 11 points with six rebounds and junior guard Rashard Odomes finished with nine points and five rebounds. Jordan Shepherd passed out five assists to bring his trip total to 25 dimes.
Oklahoma jumped ahead early, outscoring the Kings 35-26 in the opening quarter and 63-45 at the game’s midway point. The Sooners led by as many as 29 points in the second half.
The Sooners now head north along Australia’s coastline to Cairns, where they will sightsee along the Great Barrier Reef and play in the tour’s final game on Sunday against the NBL’s Cairns Taipans. The tour finale will stream on Facebook Live at 1 a.m. CT.
Follow along throughout the Sooners entire trip on the Sooners Down Under central page.