Sooners Cruise in Exhibition Opener, 85-51

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 01, 2011

(0-0, 0-0)
  1st 2nd F
 NSU 22 29 51
 Oklahoma 48 37 85
Stats | Quotes | Photos | Highlights | Postgame

(0-0, 0-0)
 Stat Comparison OU NSU
 Points 85 51
 FG Made-Attempted 28-55 17-53
 FG Percentage .509 .321
 3P Made-Attempted 8-18 9-27
 3P Percentage .444 .333
 FT Made-Attempted 21-28 8-16
 FT Percentage .750 .500
 Rebounds 38 32
 Turnovers 10 18
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  NSU
 Points  Clark (18)  Miller (17)
 Rebounds  Osby (8)  Jones (6)
 Assists  Blair (5)  Willis (3)
 Steals  Blair (3)  2 Players (1)
 Blocks  4 Players (1)  3 Players (1)
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NORMAN, Okla. -- It didn't take long for Lon Kruger's Oklahoma men's basketball team to showcase its new up-tempo style.

The Sooners shot, ran and pressed early and often in an 85-51 exhibition win over Northeastern State Tuesday as Kruger roamed the OU sideline for the first time since being named head coach seven months ago to the day.

In the process, OU totaled more points than it did in any game last season.

"I think it was a good first game," said Kruger, who is in his 26th year as a collegiate head coach. "I thought our guys, in a lot of ways, did a really good job. I really like the movement of the ball early. We didn't turn the ball over very much. We didn't really have to search for shots. We were just ready to move the ball and make good plays for each other."

With a game-high 18 points, sophomore guard Cameron Clark led six Sooners who scored in double figures. Clark was 5-for-8 from the field, made all six of his free throws and added two assists, two steals and a block in his 32 minutes. He scored 16 points in the first half.

"Cameron is a guy that will make a lot of progress in each month for the next two or three years," said Kruger. "He really works hard, he has a good feel for the game. The strength of his game is to slash and complement that by knocking down jumpers, which he can do."

Fellow sophomores Tyler Neal and Calvin Newell scored 12 each, and juniors Andrew Fitzgerald, Sam Grooms and Romero Osby all netted 10 in the 34-point victory. The 6-8, 232-pound Osby, who sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State, paced the Sooners with eight rebounds, while junior Carl Blair came off the bench to record team highs of five assists and three steals.

Kruger's squad, which jumped out to a 17-2 lead and never trailed, shot the ball well all night. The Sooners canned 51 percent of their field goal attempts, including 8-of-18 from behind the arc (44 percent). They also buried 21 of their 28 free throw attempts (75 percent).

All 12 Sooners who played on the night saw action in the first half, including senior walk-ons T.J. Franklin and Barry Honoré, and freshman walk-on James Fraschilla.

OU played mostly man-to-man defense, often applying pressure in both the full and half court. The Sooners forced 18 turnovers while committing only 10, and outscored the Division II RiverHawks 24-7 off those mistakes.

"Defensively, I think we did a good job with a lot of movement and a lot of activity," said Kruger.

Junior forward Jon Miller led Northeastern State with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He was 4-for-7 from long distance.

Oklahoma played without junior Steven Pledger, who served a one-game suspension for failing to meet a team requirement. Pledger will be back for Sunday's 2 p.m. exhibition game against Washburn.



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