Jan. 1, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - Before starting Big 12 conference play, Oklahoma will close out its non-conference schedule on Monday night at the Lloyd Noble Center against Lamar.

The 22nd-ranked Sooners (11-1), who are 5-2 all-time against Lamar, are off to their best 12-game start since going 12-0 to open the 1989-90 season.

Oklahoma claimed its third tournament crown of the season with a 64-51 victory over Arkansas State on Thursday in the championship game of the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City. The Sooners got to the title game with a 94-41 rout of Mount St. Mary's (Md.) a day earlier.

Forward Eduardo Najera was named tournament MVP after posting double-doubles in both games.

"I let the game come to me and my teammates found me. I was wide open," said Najera, who averages a team-high 18.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.

Najera had a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds in the title game.

J.R. Raymond and Victor Avila each added 10 points for the Sooners.

Avila has come on strong since a slow start to the season. The senior center averaged 1.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in Oklahoma's first eight games, but has since averaged 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in the last four.

Lamar (6-4) is coming off its fourth straight win, 70-58 over Northwestern State (La.) on Thursday.

Landon Rowe scored 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Lamar, which trailed 36-24 at the half. Kenyon Spears added 16 for Lamar, which shot 57 percent from in the floor in the second half after making just 37 percent of its shots in opening 20 minutes

The teams last met in the 1993-94 season, with Oklahoma winning at home 98-87.