OU Hosts Strong Mercer Team Monday at 8

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 01, 2013

 Oklahoma (5-1) vs. Mercer (5-3)
 Date & Tip Time  Monday, Dec. 2 at 8:05 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center | Seating Views
 Tickets  $10, $20 and $30 for general public
 $10 for OU students
 OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Sirius 85
 XM 85
 Webcast  WatchESPN
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma (5-1) plays its second of three straight home games when it hosts Mercer (5-3) on Monday at 8 p.m. CT inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners, who are averaging 87.5 points a game, are coming off a 101-81 win over UALR on Friday. Mercer, coached by former OU assistant Bob Hoffman, has won three of its last four games, including Friday's 117-108 triple-overtime outcome at Valparaiso.

Monday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck calling the action. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU with Mark Neely and Bryndon Manzer announcing.

• Tickets are available for $10, $20 and $30 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online at SoonerSports.com. Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open Monday at 6:30 p.m.

• OU student tickets cost $10.

Complete Release (PDF) | Schedule | Media Guide | Tickets

• Monday's meeting will mark the first between Oklahoma and Mercer in men's basketball. The Bears are coached by former OU assistant Bob Hoffman, who grew up in Oklahoma City. Hoffman coached with the Sooners under Kelvin Sampson during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, helping OU to a combined 45-17 record and a share of the 2005 Big 12 regular season title.

• OU has dominated home non-conference games over the last decade, winning 97 of its last 100 non-league contests in Norman going back to Jan. 3, 2000 (good for a .970 winning percentage). Included was a streak of 49 non-conference home victories that was snapped by Villanova (67-51) on Dec. 6, 2006. The only other two home non-conference losses during the last 99 games came to Stephen F. Austin (66-62 in 2007-08 and 56-55 last season).

• Senior forward Cameron Clark and sophomore guard Buddy Hield have each scored in double figures in all six games and lead the team with their 18.8 and 16.3 respective scoring averages. Clark ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring while Hield ranks seventh. Clark has paced OU in the points department in each of the last four games, and over the last three contests is averaging 24.7 points (on .571 field goal shooting) and 8.0 rebounds. Included was a career-high 32-point night against top-ranked Michigan State in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic championship game. Hield, who led OU in scoring the first two games with career highs of 19 and 23 points, paces the squad with his 12 3-pointers and also averages 4.3 rebounds.

• After averaging 2.7 points on .279 field goal and .250 3-point shooting as a freshman last season, guard Isaiah Cousins ranks third on the team this year with his 11.8 scoring average and owns respective .511 and .455 shooting marks. Cousins, who through the first three games this season had never scored more than 10 points in a game in his career, has netted at least 14 in each of the last three contests. He scored a career-high 19 points (previous high was 10) against Seton Hall on Nov. 22 with the help of 7-for-8 field goal shooting, and followed with 15 against Michigan State the next night and 14 against UALR on Friday. He also averages 3.5 rebounds and ranks second on the squad with his 3.3 assists (also boasts a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio).

• OU opened eyes in August when it averaged 90.6 points a contest during its five-game exhibition tour of Belgium and France (it averaged 70.6 last season). Since returning to the U.S., the Sooners have continued to put up points. Lon Kruger's team averaged 96.0 points in its two preseason exhibition outings and is averaging 87.5 points through six regular season games (it has scored at least 40 points in 11 of its 12 halves). The last time OU averaged more than 80.0 points per game for an entire season was in 1994-95 (81.7 ppg in Sampson's first year as head coach).

•Atlantic Sun Conference member Mercer (located in Macon, Ga.) posted a 24-12 record last year and won the regular season league title with a 14-4 record before losing to Florida Gulf Coast in the conference tournament title game. The Bears posted wins at Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee a season ago, the last of which came in the first round of the NIT. They are off to a 5-3 start this year with two of those contests going well past 40 minutes. Mercer beat Seton Hall 77-74 in double overtime at home on Nov. 16 and is coming off a 117-108 triple-overtime win at Valparaiso on Friday.

• The Bears boast a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging between 10.0 and 16.0 points. Senior point guard Langston Hall averages a team-high 16.0 points and leads the squad with his 17 3-pointers (shooting .386) and 49 free throw makes (.886). He played 54 of 55 minutes Friday against Valparaiso and had eight points (2-for-16 shooting) and nine assists. Senior forward Daniel Coursey averages 11.1 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds while shooting .603 from the field. Sophomore guard Ike Nwamu averages 11.0 points and is followed by senior forwards Jakob Gollon (10.3) and Bud Thomas (10.0). Gollon registered 37 points on 11-for-17 field goal and 12-for-13 free throw shooting on Friday, and added seven rebounds and seven assists. He was averaging 6.4 points on the season entering the contest. Gollon is shooting a team-high .609 from the field and also averages 4.1 boards and 3.1 assists.

• Mercer is coached by Bob Hoffman, who owns a 104-74 (.584) record in his sixth year with the Bears. The reigning Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year is in his 20th year as a head coach and holds a 416-229 (.645) career record. Hoffman, who grew up in Oklahoma City, also coached at Oklahoma Baptist and Texas-Pan American, and was an OU assistant coach during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. 

•With his .692 field goal percentage, sophomore forward Ryan Spangler would lead the Big 12 in the category if he had enough makes to qualify (players need to average 5.0 makes per game; he averages 4.5). Spangler, who has shot at least 60 percent from the floor in all six games, ranks fourth in the league in rebounding (8.2) and fifth in blocked shots (1.7).

• OU has scored at least 40 points in 11 of 12 halves this season. Last year, the Sooners didn't register their 11th 40-point half until the 26th game of the season.

• The Sooners rank second in the Big 12 with their 8.3 steals per game and rank third in turnover margin (+3.0 per contest).

OU is home again on Thursday when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FS Southwest Plus and FOX College Sports Central).



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