Red-Hot Najera Leads Sooners Against Aggies In Big 12 Conference Opener

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 06, 2000

Jan. 6, 2000

Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. - Hoping Eduardo Najera continues his impressive play, No. 20 Oklahoma seeks its fourth straight win Saturday when it begins Big 12 Conference play against Texas A&M on Saturday afernoon.

Najera has been one of the conferences top players, ranking third at 19.2 points and sixth with 8.8 rebounds per contest.

The senior forward scored 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting Monday night in a 67-63 victory over Lamar. Najera has averaged 23.3 points and 10.3 boards over the last three games, hitting 57 percent from the field (28-of-49) during that span.

Prior to that stretch, Najera made just 6-of-21 shots in a home loss to then-No. 3 Cincinnati.

That was the only setback of the season for the Sooners (12-1), who were winning by nearly 17 points per game before narrowly knocking off Lamar. Oklahoma blew a 13-point first-half lead while letting the Cardinals win the battle of the boards and shoot 47 percent from the floor.

"This game was good for us in a lot of ways," Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson said. "We haven't been in this position much. We needed that experience."

Experiencing another win against Texas A&M is expected, since Oklahoma has lost only once in 12 all-time meetings. The Aggies have never won in five trips to Norman, including a 102-75 loss there last season.

Texas A&M (4-7) is off to a dismal start. The Aggies, who have dropped four of their last five games, lost on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer Wednesday in suffering an embarassing home loss to Centenary, 63-60.

Bernard King, son of former Louisiana Tech standout Victor King and not the former NBA star with the same name, scored 18 points in Wednesday's loss. The freshman guard is the only Aggie averaging in double figures at 16.7 points per game.



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