Sooners Host Villanova at LNC

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 06, 2006

Oklahoma (4-2) plays its second of four straight home games when it hosts Villanova (6-1) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. inside Lloyd Noble Center.  OU has won its last two contests and is coming off a 63-35 win over TCU on Saturday.  The Sooners will be attempting to extend the nation’s longest non-conference home winning streak to 50 games.  Villanova, a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, has won its last four games and was victorious at Penn on Saturday, 99-89. 

Wednesday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (flagship KOKC-AM 1520 in Oklahoma City) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck calling the action.  The game will be televised by ESPN (Cox 29 in OKC) with Dave O’Brien, Rick Majerus and Allen Hopkins announcing. 

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 6
Tip: 6:02 p.m. CST
Radio: Sooner Radio Network
  Flagship: KOKC 1520 AM (OKC)
Series: Tied 1-1

Game Notes (PDF) | Tickets | Schedule  

Upper-level reserved seats are available for $30 (north and south) and $45 (east and west) at the OU Athletics Ticket Office this week (800-456-4668).  Lloyd Noble Center’s north and east ticket windows will open Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Wayman Tisdale will be honored as part of OU’s 100th-year-of-basketball celebration and will sign autographs from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on the upper south concourse. One item per person please. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Tisdale rally towel.
Nationally renowned act “Quick Change” will perform at halftime.

Tisdale Returns | Live Stats  

F  33  Dante Cunningham (6-8, 225, So., 7.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) 
F  34  Curtis Sumpter (6-7, 225, Sr., 19.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) 
F  50  Will Sheridan (6-8, 240, Sr., 6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg) 
G  1   Scottie Reynolds (6-2, 195, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg) 
G  12  Mike Nardi (6-2, 170, Sr., 14.3 ppg, 2.7 apg) 

F  32  Taylor Griffin (6-7, 232, So., 8.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) 
C  30  Longar Longar (6-11, 228, Jr., 13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) 
G  5   Tony Crocker (6-5, 187, Fr., 7.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg) 
G  15  David Godbold (6-5, 215, Jr., 10.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) 
G  20  Austin Johnson (6-3, 160, So., 11.8 ppg, 4.3 apg) 

Six games into the Jeff Capel era, the Sooners are 4-2 overall and 3-0 at home.  After a trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational that saw it go 1-2 with losses to No. 12 Memphis and Purdue and a victory over Chaminade, Oklahoma returned home to post a 63-35 win over TCU on Saturday.  The Horned Frogs scored the first four points of the second half to trim OU’s lead to 32-27 but junior guard David Godbold triggered a Sooners’ run that saw them outscore TCU 31-8 the rest of the way.  Godbold, who scored 13 of his team-high 15 points after halftime,  was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and also finished with a team-high seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and no turnovers.  Joining him in double figures were Austin Johnson (11 points), Michael Neal (11), Nate Carter (10) and Longar Longar (10).  Both Carter and Neal came off the bench.

Saturday’s game marked the second this year the Sooners have held an opponent to a point total in the 30s (OU beat Norfolk State 99-36 in the season opener).  Oklahoma forced 21 Horned Frogs turnovers and turned them into 29 points.  The Sooners also shot .479 from the field, .500 (6-for-12) from 3-point range and .917 (11-for-12) from the free throw line while TCU posted respective figures of .357, .154 (2-for-13) and .333 (3-for-9).

Longar leads OU with his 13.5 points per game and is second with his 7.0 rebounds a contest.  The junior center, who is shooting .583 from the field and .846 from the foul line, turned in a 24-point, career-high 14-rebound performance against Chaminade two games ago in which he was 12-for-13 from the field.  Against TCU, he complemented his 10 points with six rebounds, three assists and three blocks.  Johnson has started all six games at the point and averages 11.8 points and a team-high 4.3 assists an outing.  The sophomore is 10-for-26 (.385) from 3-point range and 11-for-12 (.917) from the free throw line.  Neal, a senior guard who was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season, averages 10.8 points and 3.0 rebounds a contest.  He is just 5-for-24 (.208) from 3-point range after shooting .424 last year, but has netted all 14 of his free throw attempts.   

Godbold is 10-for-20 from 3-point distance over the last three games and is averaging 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds during the stretch.  On the season he is averaging 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting .444 from beyond the arc.  Sophomore forward Taylor Griffin averages 8.3 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds a game.  He registered his first career double-doubles with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Memphis and 11 points and 10 boards against Chaminade.

The Sooners extended their non-conference home winning streak to 49 games, longest in the country.
OU used a 17-2 run over a span of 10:22 in the second half to increase its lead from 32-27 to 49-29.
OU’s guards were a combined 14-for-24 from the field (.583) and 6-for-10 from 3-point range (.600).
David Godbold outscored TCU in the second half, 13-12.
Godbold and Nate Carter scored 21 of OU’s 31 points after halftime.
The Sooners held TCU to 3-for-18 shooting over the game’s final 18 minutes.

Villanova, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight last year as a No. 1 seed (it finished No. 3 in the AP poll), enters Wednesday’s game with a 6-1 record and has won its last four.  The Wildcats won at Penn (99-89) Saturday and also own victories against Northwood (97-60), College of Charleston (81-68), Iowa (89-60), Navy (70-61) and Stony Brook (72-44).  Their only loss came to Xavier (71-66) in the Paradise Jam semifinals Nov. 19 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Villanova is outscoring its foes 82.0 to 64.7 on the year and is outrebounding them 36.6 to 28.4.

The Wildcats are led in scoring by fifth-year senior forward Curtis Sumpter and his 19.1 points a game.  Sumpter, who also averages 5.0 rebounds and is shooting .513 from the field, sat out the 2005-06 season with a knee injury.  He was 10-for-10 at the free throw line against Penn on Saturday and finished with 28 points.  Fellow senior Mike Nardi averages 14.2 points and a team-high 4.6 assists while shooting .436 from 3-point range (17-for-39) and a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line.  He netted 19 points against the Quakers.  Sophomore forward Shane Clark has come off the bench in each game to average 10.9 points and 3.6 rebounds.  He is shooting .522 from beyond the 3-point arc (12-for-23).  Freshman guard Scottie Reynolds and sophomore forward Dante Cunningham both average 7.7 points a contest.  Reynolds also averages 3.3 assists and is shooting .381 from long distance while Cunningham also pulls down a team-high 5.4 rebounds a game and is shooting .667 from the field.

Jay Wright is in his sixth year as Villanova’s head coach and sports a 110-60 (.594) record there.  He is in his 13th year as a collegiate head coach (he was 122-85 in seven years at Hofstra) and owns a 232-145 (.591) career mark.  Wright’s teams have advanced to four NCAA Tournaments and four NITs.   

Wednesday’s game will mark the third game in the series with both teams owning a victory.  Last year, the No. 4 Wildcats claimed an 85-74 win over No. 5 Oklahoma at Villanova.  Randy Foye netted 32 points for Villanova while backcourt mate Allan Ray added 21.  Taj Gray led OU with 22 points, 18 in the second half when he was 8-for-8 from the field.  The Sooners led 25-15 with seven minutes left in the first half but Villanova rallied to tie the game at 35 at halftime.  The Wildcats shot .571 for the game (.652 in the second half) while OU posted a .538 figure (.615 after halftime).

The series’ first meeting was in the 1988 NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight in Birmingham, Ala.  Billy Tubbs’ Sooners defeated Rollie Massimino’s Wildcats by a 78-59 score to advance to the Final Four (OU beat Arizona in Kansas City before losing to Kansas in the national title game).  Villanova led 38-31 at halftime but the Sooners dominated after the break, 47-21.  Stacey King scored 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for OU en route to being named the Southeast Regional’s MVP.  Mookie Blaylock added 14 points and four steals while Harvey Grant contributed 12 points and nine boards.  Doug West paced Villanova with 18 points.  Current Wildcats head coach Jay Wright was in his first year as a Villanova assistant coach that season.

OU head coach Jeff Capel and Villanova head coach Jay Wright served on the staff of the 2005 USA World University Games team that finished 8-0 and won the gold medal in Turkey.  Wright was the head coach while Capel was an assistant coach.  Bryan Goodman, OU's director of basketball operations, served as a liaison for the USA squad (Goodman's mother lives in Turkey).
Villanova freshman guard Scottie Reynolds signed a letter of intent in November 2005 to play for Oklahoma.  He was released from his letter of intent last April.

The Sooners have won 49 straight non-conference home games (and 57 of their last 59), giving them the longest current streak in the country.  Cincinnati is the last non-conference opponent to hand Oklahoma a loss inside Lloyd Noble Center, a 72-57 outcome on Dec. 22, 1999.

Duke ranks second in the nation in consecutive home non-conference wins with 46. 

Oklahoma has been dominant in its three home games this season, winning by an average of 39.0 points (78.7 to 39.7) over Norfolk State (99-36), Liberty (74-48) and TCU (63-35).  Here are some more home notes...

The Sooners are shooting .514 at home while opponents have shot .295.
OU is outboarding visiting foes by a 42.3 to 28.7 count.
Six Sooners are averaging double figures in points.  Longar Longar (15.0) leads the way and is followed by Tony Crocker (12.0), David Godbold (11.0), Austin Johnson (11.0), Michael Neal (11.0) and Nate Carter (10.3).
Only one of OU’s nine regulars is shooting below .500 from the field at Lloyd Noble Center this year (Taylor Griffin .389).
Oklahoma is averaging 12.0 turnovers per home game while opponents are averaging 19.7.
The Sooners have nearly twice as many field goals as their foes (90 to 46) at Lloyd Noble this year.

A lot of season remains, but through six games the Sooners are on pace to set a school record for single-season free throw percentage.  OU owns a .769 mark at the foul line, slightly better than the record mark of .767 set by the 2001-02 Final Four team.  Here are some more free throw notes...

Oklahoma’s top three scorers are a combined 36-for-39 (.923) from the free throw line.  Longar Longar is 11-for-13, Austin Johnson is 11-for-12 while Michael Neal is 14-for-14.
Over the last four games, OU is shooting .887 (55-for-62) from the charity stripe.
The Sooners' .950 effort against Memphis (19-for-20) stands as the best by a Big 12 team this year.
OU’s .769 season free throw percentage exists despite a combined 25-for-42 (.595) effort over the first two games.

OU ranks first in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.769), second in scoring defense (54.5), second in field goal percentage defense (.366), third in scoring margin (+19.5), third in rebounding margin (+7.7) and third in 3-point field goal defense (.290).
Longar Longar ranks 11th in the conference in field goal percentage (.583), second in offensive rebounding (3.3), 10th in rebounding (7.0) and 18th in scoring (13.5).  His .923 (12-for-13) field goal effort against Chaminade is the best by a league player this season while his 14 boards in the same game stand as the second most by a Big 12 player on the year.
Taylor Griffin ranks sixth in the Big 12 in rebounding (7.3) and third in defensive rebounding (5.8).
Austin Johnson’s 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth in the conference.
David Godbold ranks seventh in the league with his .444 3-point field goal percentage.

Longar Longar has 81 points this season, two more than last year’s total of 79.
Almost half of Longar’s 42 rebounds this season (20) have come on the offensive end of the floor.
Freshman guard Tony Crocker entered the Maui Invitational averaging 16.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, but is averaging 3.5 points and 2.0 boards in four games since.  He battled foul trouble in Hawaii and was limited to 16.3 minutes a game there.
The Sooners are 4-0 in games they’ve outrebounded their opponent and 0-2 when they’ve been outboarded.
Three Sooners rank in the top 15 of the Big 12 in rebounding.  Taylor Griffin (7.3) is sixth, Longar (7.0) is 10th and David Godbold (6.3) is 15th.
David Godbold is averaging 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last three games while going 10-for-20 from 3-point range.
As of Monday, only four teams on OU’s schedule own a losing record (Norfolk State, Coppin State, Longwood and Colorado).

Lloyd Noble Center has been overly kind to the Sooners, as they have won 34 of the last 36 games and 82 of the last 88 in the building.  Oklahoma finished 14-1 at home last year after also going 14-1 in 2004-05.  OU is 401-65 (.861) in the building since it opened for the 1975-76 campaign.  The Sooners have posted home winning streaks of 51 games (1987-90) and 37 games (2001-03).  The 37-game streak is a Big 12 Conference record.

The 2006-07 season marks the 100th year of varsity basketball at Oklahoma.  The Sooners began playing the sport during the 1907-08 season under head coach D.C. Hall (it was his lone year as OU’s mentor).  Their first game was a 32-12 win over Epworth College on Nov. 26, 1907, at Convention Hall in Oklahoma City.  OU posted a 4-3 record that year with a two-game sweep of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State).

The Sooners now own a 1,433-911 (.611) all-time record and a 401-65 (.861) mark at Lloyd Noble Center.  They have participated in 24 NCAA Tournaments, four Final Fours (1939, 1947, 1988 and 2002) and two national title games (1947 and 1988).  OU has won or shared 13 conference championships (the most recent was in 2005) and has claimed seven league tournament titles (the most recent was in 2003).

Oklahoma made its 25th consecutive postseason appearance last year (20 NCAA and five NIT), good for the longest current streak among Division I programs.  The last time OU did not compete in the postseason was in 1980-81.  The Sooners have competed in the NCAA Tournament 11 times in the last 12 seasons.

The Sooners boast a streak of nine straight 20-win seasons dating back to the 1997-98 campaign.  OU and Kansas are the only Big 12 schools who have won at least 20 games each of the last nine seasons.  Oklahoma State has eight 20-win seasons in the last nine years while Texas is next with seven.



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