Dec. 2, 2011
But coach Lon Kruger's squad responded as Cameron Clark scored 18 points and Steven Pledger added 15 to help Oklahoma to an 82-53 victory.
Coming off a loss at St. Louis five days earlier, Oklahoma (5-1) never trailed, leading by as many as 35 points and shooting 57 percent from the floor.
It was the Sooners' first game without top reserve Calvin Newell, who announced the day before that he will transfer for personal reasons. Newell was Oklahoma's second-leading scorer, averaging 13 points and 19 minutes a game.
Tyler Neal and Carl Blair each saw additional minutes off the bench. The pair combined for 13 points and eight rebounds.
"It worked out great tonight," said Kruger, who played 11 of 12 active players on his roster. "The real challenge will come if we get two quick fouls or someone tweaks an ankle."
Oklahoma had 10 players score.
The Sooners shot a season-high 55 percent from 3-point range, converting 11 of 20 shots. Oklahoma's 22 assists were its most in 81 games.
All five Oklahoma starters shot better than 50 percent from the field, combining to hit 69 percent.
"Direct result of making that extra pass," Kruger said. "I thought the guys did a great job of creating good looks for each other."
Pledger came into the interview room after the game sporting a bandage over his right eye to go with his 15 points and three 3-pointers.
He said the Sooners will have to get tougher with Newell gone.
"Calvin played a big role on our team coming off the bench and keeping the pressure up and hitting shots," Pledger said. "It's hard, but we know we need to come together. We probably need to put some more hours in the gym, knowing we have to pick up the slack."
Sacramento State (3-4) shot 47 percent en route to losing its third straight game. Joe Eberhard and Heath Hoffman scored 10 points each to lead the Hornets.
After outrebounding their first five opponents, the Hornets lost the boards battle for the second consecutive game, 29-23.
Oklahoma recorded 16 steals, with Pledger, Fitzgerald and Sam Grooms getting three apiece.
Clark shot 7 of 12 from the floor, with the most memorable basket on a windmill dunk with 7:52 remaining in the first half.
Oklahoma capitalized on 22 Sacramento State turnovers, converting them into 30 points. The Sooners had only 12 turnovers.
The Sooners have won 88 of 90 non-conference games at home dating back to Jan 3, 2000.