Kruger Earns 500th Win in 69-65 Battle

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 30, 2012


  1st 2nd F
 Northwestern State 32 33 65
 Oklahoma 29 40 69
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 Stat Comparison OU NSU
 Points 69 65
 FG Made-Attempted 22-56 22-58
 FG Percentage 39 38
 3P Made/Attempted 5-12 6-18
 3P Percentage 42 33
 FT Made-Attempted 20-28 15-18
 FT Percentage 71 83
 Rebounds 38 38
 Turnovers 13 17
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  NSU
 Points  Osby - 11  West - 13
 Rebounds  Two with 8  Three with 5
 Assists  Two with 4  Hicks - 3
 Steals  Pledger - 3  Hicks - 2
 Blocks  M'Baye - 2  Frazier - 3
 Play of the Game
Freshman G Je'lon Hornbeak
With 2:12 left in the game and OU down 63-61, Hornbeak hit a 3-pointer to give the Sooners the lead for good. He finished with 7 points in 24 minutes in the win.

Je'lon Hornbeak's Bio
 Up Next
Who: Arkansas
When: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. CT
Where: Fayetteville, Ark.
What's at Stake: The Sooners look to remain undefeated on the road, having won their first two true road games in 2012-13.

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Romero Osby scored 11 points and Oklahoma converted three free throws in the final 17 seconds to beat Northwestern State 69-65 on Friday night, giving coach Lon Kruger his 500th career victory.

Oklahoma (6-1) trailed 32-29 at halftime and erased a six-point deficit in the second half.

OU had never lost to the Demons, winning all three previous meetings and last season's game in Norman 83-63.

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Reserve Jalen West scored 13 points to lead Northwestern State (3-3). West converted 3 of 5 3-point attempts. Shamir Davis added 10 points for the Demons, who committed 17 turnovers.

The Sooners (6-1) won their third consecutive game, but it didn't come easy.

With 14 ties and 10 lead changes, neither team could pull away until the final seconds.

Neither team held a rebounding edge, with Oklahoma picking up one more offensive rebound and one less defensive rebound than the Demons.

Oklahoma outscored Northwestern State 44-30 in the second half and 12-4 over the game's final 5:35.

Freshman guard Je'Lon Hornbeak's 3-pointer with 2:12 remaining gave the Sooners the lead for good, and Amath M'Baye's slam on an alley-oop from Steven Pledger with 54 seconds remaining was enough seal the victory.

Northwestern State entered the week as the highest scoring program in the country, averaging 94 points per game, but neither team could get close to that.

Five minutes into the game, Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy substituted his entire starting five. He did it again seven minutes later, and it seemed to help as the Demons led 32-29 at the half.

Neither team shot well in the first half, with both teams combining to convert 22 of 59 shots.

Northwestern State's defensive pressure at times frustrated the Sooners, who struggled to inbound the ball, particularly in the final minutes, calling three consecutive timeouts with 20 seconds remaining.

Hornbeak managed to inbound the ball near Oklahoma's bench and Pledger, who went on to convert 3 of 4 free throws in the final 17 seconds.

The Demons dropped to 3-3 on the season, losing their third straight.

Now in his 27th season, Kruger is 500-321 and is No. 18 in wins among active head coaches.



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