Nov. 17, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - Freshman guard De'Angelo Alexander was 6-for-6 from 3-point range in the second half and finished with a game-high 25 points as the No. 3 Oklahoma men's basketball team disposed of Athletes First in an exhibition game at Lloyd Noble Center Sunday afternoon, 100-61.
The Sooners, who were coming off a regular season-opening six-point loss to No. 8 Alabama on Thursday in New York, were never threatened today. The game was tied at 10-10 before OU closed the half on a 34-18 run to take a 44-28 lead. Oklahoma made 11-of-16 3-pointers in the second half when they outscored Athletes First 56-33.
Alexander was one of four Sooners in double figures in scoring. Guard Ebi Ere was 4-for-10 from 3-point land and finished with 20 points while center Jabahri Brown and reserve sophomore point guard Blake Johnston netted 16 and 10, respectively. Brown also grabbed 10 rebounds and had two assists, a block and a steal in 26 minutes of action.
Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Hollis Price contributed nine points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Head coach Kelvin Sampson seemed pleased with his team's progress since Thursday.
"I thought we improved," said Sampson. "Kevin (Bookout) got better today. I thought De'Angelo got better today. I thought our best scorer today was Jabahri. His energy level was good. He played with some tenacity."
Added Alexander, "I owe a lot of my success today to the rest of my teammates. They did a great job of getting me the extra pass. We've been working really hard in practice on not taking so many hard shots and taking the right shots. After the Alabama loss, we got real hungry and I think we've improved a lot because we're working harder in practice. I think that we're starting to come together as a team."
Former Tulsa guard Tony Heard led Athletes First with 15 points while Bruce Jenkins scored 13 and Lennox McCoy 11. Former OU guard Eric Martin contributed five points, four rebounds and two assists.
Oklahoma is in action again on Friday in the Sooner Invitational at Lloyd Noble Center. Princeton will face Western Michigan at 4:45 p.m. and OU will play UC Irvine at approximately 7 p.m. The tournament's consolation game will start at noon on Saturday and will be followed by the championship game at approximately 2:15 p.m.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the OU Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-456-4668.