OU, Arkansas Set for Fast-Paced Game

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 09, 2011
  Cameron Clark is averaging 16.0 points the last three games.
 Oklahoma (6-1) vs. Arkansas (5-2)
 Date & Tip Time  Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2:07 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center | Seating Views
 Tickets  $10, $20 and $30; $5 for OU students
 OU Athletics Ticket Office
 TV  Sooner Sports Network
 KAUT Ch. 43 in Oklahoma City
 KOTV Ch. 6 in Tulsa
 ESPN Full Court
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Sirius 134, XM 195
 Webcast  SoonerSports.com All-Access
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma (6-1) closes a three-game homestand when it hosts Arkansas (5-2) Saturday at 2 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center.  The Sooners, who have won 31 straight non-conference home games, are coming off a 73-59 victory over Oral Roberts on Thursday.  The Razorbacks haven't played since Saturday when they lost 75-62 at then-No. 8 Connecticut.  Saturday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 134, XM 195) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing.  The game will be televised by the Sooner Sports Network (KAUT Ch. 43 in OKC; KOCO Ch. 6 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Bob Carpenter and Billy Tubbs calling the action.

• Tickets are available for $10, $20 and $30 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office and online here.  Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at noon on Saturday.
• OU students may purchase a ticket for $5.  OU student season tickets cost $40.
• Saturday's game marks Military Appreciation Day.  Active duty members and veterans may purchase $5 tickets.

Gameday Central: OU vs. Arkansas

• Since sustaining its only loss of the season in the 76 Classic championship game to Saint Louis, Oklahoma has shot .537 from the field, .519 (14-for-27) from 3-point range and .781 (25-for-32) from the free throw line in double-digit wins over Sacramento State and Oral Roberts.  The Sooners held those two foes to combined .398 field goal and .269 (7-for-26) 3-point shooting.
• Sophomore Cameron Clark (17.0) and juniors Steven Pledger (16.0) and Andrew Fitzgerald (14.5) are averaging a combined 47.5 points over the last two outings, representing 61 percent of the team's output.  They are shooting a combined .590 from the field (36-for-61) in the two games.
• The Sooners' pressure defense under new head coach Lon Kruger has boosted the team's offense through seven games.  Opponents have averaged 15.9 turnovers, resulting in an average of 17.9 points per contest for OU on the other end of the floor.
• OU has outrebounded six of its seven opponents and ranks in the top 10 nationally with its +9.4 margin per contest despite not starting anyone taller than 6-8.  Included were a +34 effort against Coppin State (61-27) and a +16 margin against Santa Clara (49-33).  The Sooners own a 112-75 offensive rebounding advantage on the year and have scored 101 second-chance points to their foes' 61.
• After averaging 3.0 points on .167 (3-for-18) field goal shooting in OU's first two games, Clark has scored in double figures in each of the last five outings and is averaging 14.0 points on .519 field goal shooting during the stretch.
• Pledger has scored in double figures in all six of his games and is shooting a team-high .545 from the field (ranks third among Big 12 guards) and .452 from 3-point range (ranks fifth in league).  He shot .386 and .345, respectively, over his first two seasons combined.  Pledger averaged 13.6 points per 40 minutes last season but is averaging 25.3 per 40 minutes this year.  He ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring (17.2 ppg) and eighth in steals (1.5 spg).
• OU leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game (16.0) and offensive rebound percentage (.444 of its missed shots), and ranks second in rebounding margin (+9.4), second in turnover margin (+2.9), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.408), third in 3-pointers per game (7.0), fourth in scoring offense (78.1 ppg) and fourth in free throw percentage (.727).

• Picked sixth in the preseason SEC media poll, Arkansas enters Saturday's game with a 5-2 record.  The Razorbacks are 5-1 at home (suffered an 87-78 loss to Houston) and 0-1 on the road.  They fell 75-62 at Connecticut in their most recent game last Saturday.  Arkansas grabbed 27 offensive rebounds and outboarded the Huskies by 12, but was held to .312 field goal shooting on the day.
• The Razorbacks are shooting .447 from the field while holding opponents to a .386 mark.  They average an impressive +5.9 turnover margin and have more than twice as many steals as their foes (67-32).
• Freshman guard BJ Young leads Arkansas' available players with his 15.4 scoring average in only 22.7 minutes a game (17.7 points over the last six outings).  Young is coming off a 28-point effort at defending national champion Connecticut in which he went 5-for-6 from 3-point distance and scored 17 straight Razorback points in the second half.  He is shooting .500 from both the field and 3-point range (13-for-26).
• Sophomore guard Mardracus Wade is averaging 10.9 points per contest while junior guard Julysses Nobles contributes 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.1 assists per outing.  Wade has made 14 treys (shooting .483) and Nobles has canned 11 (.355).  Freshman forward Devonta Abron averages a team-high 5.4 rebounds per game.  He pulled down 16 against Connecticut.
• Junior forward Marshawn Powell, a second-team preseason All-SEC pick by league coaches, tore knee ligaments in practice Nov. 17 and will miss the rest of the season.  Powell averaged a team-high 19.5 points in Arkansas' first two games (in an average of just 21.5 minutes) on .714 field goal shooting.
Mike Anderson is 205-100 (.672) in his 10th year as a collegiate head coach and first season at Arkansas.  The head coach at Missouri the last five seasons, he was an Arkansas assistant coach from 1986 to 2002 and won a national title with the Razorbacks in 1994.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Andrew Fitzgerald | Jr. | Forward
 • Coming off his top two scoring games of the season (13 and 16 points)
 • Averaging 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on the year
 • Made a season-high eight field goals Thursday in win over Oral Roberts
 • Recorded 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds last season against Arkansas


Saturday's game will mark the 26th between Oklahoma and Arkansas, and the 12th meeting in Norman.  Despite winning six of the last eight overall meetings against the Razorbacks, OU trails the all-time series by a 14-11 count.  The Sooners lead 8-3 in games played in Norman.  OU swept a four-game home-and-home series between the 1998-99 and 2001-02 seasons and has posted wins in two of the last four years.

• Oklahoma was outscored 28-9 in points off turnovers in an 84-74 defeat at Arkansas on Dec. 1, 2011.  The Sooners committed 15 of their 22 turnovers in the second half, including one on each of their first four possessions after halftime.
• OU, which trailed 43-37 at the half, fell behind by 17 (66-49) with 10:37 remaining before rallying to cut the margin to just seven on three occasions in the final 3:40.
• The Sooners lost despite posting a commanding 42-23 rebounding advantage.  They had just five fewer offensive rebounds (18) than Arkansas had total boards.
• The Razorbacks held a major advantage at the free throw line, knocking down 23 of their 26 foul shots (.885).  OU was 9-for-12 (.750).
• Sophomore forward Andrew Fitzgerald recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.  He was 7-for-14 from the field and pulled down eight offensive boards in his 37 minutes.
• Guard Rotnei Clarke, an Oklahoma native, was 7-for-12 from the field and finished with a game-high 20 points for Arkansas.

Oklahoma has dominated home non-conference games over the last decade, winning 89 of its last 91 non-league contests inside Lloyd Noble Center going back to Jan. 3, 2000 (good for a .978 winning percentage).  Included was a streak of 49 non-conference home victories that was snapped by Villanova, 67-51, on Dec. 6, 2006.  The only other home non-conference loss during the last 91 games was a 66-62 defeat at the hands of Stephen F. Austin in the 2007-08 season.  The current win string stands at 31 games.

• Oklahoma shot .500 from the field and held Oral Roberts to .367 field goal and .067 (1-for-15) 3-point field goal marks in a 73-59 win Thursday in Norman.  The loss for the Golden Eagles, the preseason Summit League favorites, was their worst of the year.
• Oral Roberts entered the game with a +6.9 average rebounding margin, but the Sooners won the board battle by a 38-31 count.
• Junior guard Steven Pledger led OU in scoring for the third time in his six games with 17 points.  He was 6-for-11 from the field (fifth time shooting at least .500 from the floor) and 5-for-5 at the free throw line while adding three assists and two steals.
• One game after scoring a season-high 18 points, sophomore guard Cameron Clark netted 16 points on 5-for-8 field goal and 2-for-2 3-point shooting.  He added a season-high eight rebounds (third highest career total) and two assists in 30 minutes.
• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald finished with a season-high 16 points with the help of a game-high eight field goal makes.
• OU shot a season-high .800 from the free throw line (16-for-20) and outscored ORU 11-2 in fast break points.

• Oklahoma entered the week ranked No. 7 nationally (out of 338 Division I teams) in rebounding margin (+9.8), No. 34 in 3-point field goal percentage (.407), No. 37 in scoring (79.0 ppg) and No. 42 in turnover margin (+3.8).
• Oklahoma has recorded 28 dunks in its seven games (4.0 average) and junior forward Romero Osby has 13 of them.
• Osby and fellow junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald have each taken three charges.  The Sooners have totaled 13 charges taken.
• Fitzgerald is averaging more rebounds per game this year than last year (5.4 to 5.0), despite averaging 6.2 fewer minutes per contest.
• Twenty-five of Osby's 53 rebounds (47 percent) have come on the offensive end.  In home games, he has 16 offensive boards compared to 15 defensive.
• Junior point guard Sam Grooms ranks third in the Big 12 with his 5.0 assists per game and fourth with his 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
• In four home games, Carl Blair (6-for-12), Tyler Neal (6-for-12), Cameron Clark (5-for-10) and Steven Pledger (6-for-13) are shooting a combined .489 from 3-point range (23-for-47).  Pledger is shooting .632 (12-for-19) from the field at Lloyd Noble Center this season and C.J. Washington is shooting .778 (7-for-9).
• Last year, Pledger averaged 15.4 points in OU's wins and 7.4 points in its losses.  This year, the junior guard is averaging 18.4 points in wins (he missed the season-opening victory) and was held to 11 points in the loss to Saint Louis.
• Washington's three assists against Coppin State on Nov. 18 were more than he had all of last season (two).



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