Dec. 18, 1999

Postgame Audio:
Coach Sampson

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - After a full week of finals, Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson wondered if his 23rd-ranked team's game would suffer from the break.

The Sooners calmed Sampson's fears, scoring the most points of the season in a 102-63 defeat of Georgia Southern on Saturday.

"We really needed a game like this," Sampson said. "I thought our defense was outstanding. Our rebounding was really good.

"With final exams this week, you're never really sure how the team will perform."

The Sooners (9-0) went on a 24-4 run in the first half to lead 50-27 at intermission. Oklahoma hit 6-of-12 3-point shots in the first half and finished the game 12-of-21.

Oklahoma's Kelley Newton hit a career-high six 3-pointers on seven attempts to lead the Sooners with 18 points. Victor Avila scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had four assists.

Even with a 101-degree temperature, Eduardo Najera managed 16 points in 18 minutes, with 11 points coming in the second half. Jameel Heywood scored 13 and J.R. Raymond was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc for 12 points.

The Eagles (5-4) were simply outmatched, getting outrebounded 40-26, and turning the ball over 17 times to a physical Oklahoma team.

"I thought our team was very tentative," first-year Georgia Southern coach Jeff Price said. "We knew coming in we would have a problem with their physical ability. When we play teams that pound it inside we have trouble."

The Eagles struggled to shoot 40 percent for the game.

Oklahoma held Southern Conference scoring leader Julius Jenkins to a season-low nine points. He added three rebounds and three assists.

Ra'Shawn Tart led the Eagles with 13 points.